The Guyana Revenue Authority on Tuesday noted that from January 2018 to date, The Law Enforcement and Investigation Division(LEID), has been able to recoup hundreds of millions of dollars in Customs Duties, Excise Taxes, Environmental Levy and VAT, and fines, and confiscated significant quantities of commonly smuggled items which include alcohol, foreign chicken and mosquito coils.
GRA further noted on May 2, 2018, following another sting operation on the Atlantic Ocean, Officers intercepted a Motor Vessel containing hundreds of boxes of foreign chicken and mosquito coils. The Captain and two Sailors who were on board the vessel were apprehended and placed into custody.
These were first time offenders. However, many of the perpetrators are repeat offenders. Second time offenders will be liable to pay three times the duties and taxes as a fine. Third time offenders may be prosecuted and/or be allowed to pay three times the value of the item as a fine, as compensation in lieu of court proceedings. These offences in many cases also result in seizure of the goods and confiscation of the vehicles involved, the agency said.
Whistleblowers have significantly improved LEID’s performance and the agency’s revenue collection, and the general public must be complemented in aiding the Authority’s efforts in stamping out this activity.