The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has been able to recover some $114 million in smuggled items during the first four months of the year, the revenue collection body announced on Wednesday.
Among the items seized were a significant quantity smuggled chicken, mosquito coils that were banned and motor vehicles.
The GRA said its Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID), for the period January to April, has been able to recoup the monies through its efforts in the fight against smuggling. It is expected that these efforts will be boosted as the Regional Operations begin its countrywide compliance campaign.
For a number of the offences, the offenders were first time offenders.
However, in some cases it has been noted that the perpetrators were repeat offenders, in which case the penalties are levied as payment triple the value of the duties.
“And even as LEID continues its operations, the Regional Operations has begun a countrywide compliance campaign with the aim of ensuring all businesses or persons who are required to pay taxes are complying with all necessary requirements in terms of licences,” the GRA said in a statement.
As a result of the compliance campaign, it has been discovered that a large number of businesses are non-compliant. Business owners were informed of their shortcomings and follow-up visits will be forthcoming.
The compliance campaign is ongoing and persons are being encouraged to visit the GRA and get their relevant documentation in order.
In addition to the efforts of LEID and the Regional Operations, the Communication and Tax Advisory Services Division of the GRA will also be continuing its Public Awareness campaign.