Police and GRA tussle over arrest of gun slinging smuggler

Police and GRA tussle over arrest of gun slinging smuggler

The Guyana Police in a statement on Saturday announced the arrest of the Dundee, Mahaica man who is reportedly a known smuggler and who on Wednesday evening opened heavy gunfire on a party of GRA Enforcement officers as they were about to carry out an operation at one of the man’s smuggling locations.

In its statement the Police Force said two men have been arrested, including the main suspect, and are in police custody, the Force sought to lay blame at the feet of the GRA officers who were shot at, for the sloth of the investigations. According to the Police statement, “the investigations however are being stymied by the non-submission of statements to the police by the GRA officials who so far have shown some reluctance to do so.”

A senior GRA official familiar with the probe said the Police statement is reckless and flies in the face of proper investigation. According to the source, on Friday evening, the Police investigators contacted the GRA Enforcement Officers to identify the main suspect who was already under police arrest. The source said the Officers did just that and were asked to immediately provide full statements to the police.

The Official explained that the GRA officers explained to the Police that they will provide their full statements before the end of Saturday and the Police agreed to that timeline. The source said it came as a surprise on Saturday when they learn of the Police statement which accuses them of being reluctant to provide the statement.

News Source was told that the GRA officers want to ensure that their statements are in tact before handing them over to the Police since they fear the Police could easily bungle the entire investigation.  Concern has already been raised that the suspect was seen interacting and sharing jokes with police officers while in custody.

The Guyana Revenue Authority is said to be taking the matter very seriously. Four Customs Enforcement Officers had to dash for their lives when the suspect and other persons in his employ opened fire on them. While they returned fire with their 9mm and .32 handguns, the suspect reportedly released a barrage of heavy powered gunfire from AK-47 and machine rifles.

The incident forced the Enforcement Officers to retreat and file an official complaint at the Cove and John Police Station. According to GRA source, the Mahaica smuggler has been on the agency’s radar for a while. He is reportedly known for smuggling chicken, liquor and fuel from nearby countries.

The probe continues.

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