More than one month after the Guyana Revenue Authority seized two luxury vehicles belonging to the Chinese logging company, BaiShanLin, for taxes owed, the company is seeking the release of the vehicles without paying the millions of dollars in owed taxes.
In a letter to the Guyana Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General, the Satram and Satram Law Firm, writing on behalf of its client, BaiShanLin, stated that “the purported imposition of the liability is unlawful and the imposition of it triggered a dispute between the company and the Government of Guyana, which is to be dealt with under an agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Government of Guyana executed on the 27th day of March 2003 for the promotion and protection of investments”.
Under that agreement which was entered into by the PPP Civic administration, BaiShanLin claims that the concessions were granted under the agreement which was renewed in Janurary 2015. That was just five months before Guyana voted at national elections and the PPP was booted out of office.
The letter to the GRA which was dated May 16, wants the Revenue collection agency to release the vehicles within seven days.
BaiShanLin has also written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and China’s Ambassador to Guyana, complaining about the issue and asking for their intervention in the story.
The GRA is unlikely to budge on the issue since the seizure of the vehicles go beyond owed taxes. When the luxury rides were first brought to Guyana, they were outfitted with license plates numbers that had not yet been issued by the GRA.
Additionally, sources at the GRA have argued that the agreement between the previous government and BaiShanLin did not support the importation and use of luxury vehicles.