GRA wants Police to investigate Email leak

GRA wants Police to investigate Email leak

The Guyana Revenue Authority and its Commissioner General want the Police to launch a full scale investigation into the leak of “sensitive correspondence” from the GRA.

The Revenue Authority’s newest call is in response to the disclosure of several emails which were allegedly sent by the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority to the Attorney General Anil Nandall and former President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Though the GRA Commissioner General Khurshid Sattaur has always dodged questions about the authenticity of the email exchanges, in a three page press statement on Friday, the Revenue Authority appeared to be admitting that the email exchanges are authentic and there should now  be an investigation to figure out how the Kaieteur News and its owner Glen Lall were able to obtain the exchanges.

In one of the exchanges, an email which was allegedly sent by Sattaur provided tax information for a number of media houses to the former President Jagdeo.

 In it’s Friday statement, the GRA said “the Commissioner General stated that Lall  was able to obtain confidential information on his overseas travel plans, the purpose of his visit overseas and information on an initial analysis of the income of media houses to inform the need for an audit.” That reference to an “initial analysis” of income of media houses refers to the first email that was published in the Kaieteur News and which showed the email allegedly sent by Sattaur to Jagdeo, explaining in detail, the income and expenditure and other private tax information for a number of media houses. It is unclear what role Jagdeo would be playing for the GRA in any “income analysis” of media houses, based on their tax information.

“The GRA, subsequent to the unlawful disclosures of information, obtained by illegal and illicit means, has since taken numerous steps to buttress the IT Security Infrastructure, internal access to, and transmission of sensitive taxpayer information, in addition to launching an intensive investigation into the source of these leaks and other illegal and illicit activities.  To date, despite its best efforts, the Agency has been unable to identify the source of these illegal disclosures and unlawful transmission of sensitive taxpayer information, personal information on the Head of the Guyana Revenue Authority and other internal workings of the GRA”, the statement from the GRA added.

According to the Revenue collection agency, its Mr. Sattaur believes “the police should investigate and compel Lall to disclose the source of his information against the Laws of Guyana, rendering them liable to criminal prosecution.”

Now Sattaur and the Guyana Revenue Authority are very concerned about the email exchanges published in the Kaieteur News and Sattaur believes that there may be a “snitch” in his agency.

The GRA release said that “Mr. Sattaur posits that in the three decades that he has been employed within the GRA and the twelve years that he has been the Commissioner General, “there has never been a disclosure of confidential taxpayer information or even an allegation that there has been such disclosure.”  It is interesting to note that it is only after Lall illegally obtained confidential information regarding an impending audit that these unfounded, malicious, and manufactured allegations have surfaced.”

Kaieteur News also published other emails allegedly sent by the Commissioner General when he allegedly speaks of needing to deal with the Kaieteur News and its publisher over information in the newspaper.

The Opposition parties believe Sattaur  may be using the resources of the state to pick personal battles. The Alliance For Change has called for his resignation and has pointed out that it has received information in the past, that the GRA was going after businesses and persons  who have voiced criticism of the agency and the government.

The Kaieteur News Publisher Glen Lall has made it clear that he will continue to “expose” the operations of the GRA under Sattaur. He has never said how he was able to obtain the emails.


Filed: 4th October 2014.

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