Even as the Guyana Revenue Authority boasts of recouping hundreds of millions in taxes from smuggling, the authority is making it clear that whistleblowers have significantly improved the agency’s revenue collection.
In a statement on Tuesday, GRA said its Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) continues to fight against smuggling, pointing out that from January 2018 to date, LEID, has been able to recoup a significant sum in Customs Duties, Excise Taxes, Environmental Levy and VAT, and fines.
The Division has also confiscated significant quantities of commonly smuggled items which include alcohol, foreign chicken and mosquito coils.
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,” the statement noted.
GRA said these offences in many cases also result in seizure of the goods and confiscation of the vehicles involved.
“The LEID operations exemplifies the GRA’s commitment to deter, disrupt, and prosecute individuals who attempt to import prohibited items, and evade the payment of their fair share of duties and taxes. Whistleblowers have significantly improved LEID’s performance and the agency’s revenue collection, and the general public must be complemented in aiding the Authority efforts in stamping out this activity.”