GFC still in moves to recover debt from Bai Shan Lin – in talks with GRA

DPI, GUYANA, Monday, February 19, 2018

The Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) is still working to recover monies owed to it by Chinese logging company BaiShanLin, whose concession was repossessed back in 2016 by the commission.

(from left to right) GFC’s Commissioner James Singh, Chairperson of the board Jocelyn Dow and David Singh, Vice President, Conservation International at the Press Conference today.

The update was given by the regulatory agency at a press conference at its multiplex building, Kingston earlier today.  GFC’s Commissioner, James Singh told the media that the entity has not written off the debt owed.

BaiShanLin owes some $80M to the commission but also has a larger debt to settle with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Chairperson of the board, Jocelyn Dow explained that the company, while it is out-of-operation, still has an amount of equipment in the country. Dow, however, explained that the “first haul” or assessment of those assets will be done by the GRA.

“We have had some informal discussions as to how it is we can jointly work to both secure those assets and to offer them for sale so that we could get our monies back.”

According to the Chairperson, the monies owed to GRA are far more substantial and that the revenue body has the first grab of the equipment.

Meanwhile, addressing a report in the local press on Sunday suggesting that the Chinese company was operating illegally in the Berbice River. Forestry Commissioner James Singh explained that as far as the GFC is aware, the information gathered revealed that it was actually another company that was under the concession of BaiShanLin umbrella that was working unlawfully.

“Yes, we have been investigating some illegal logging that is happening there, but it is definitely not associated with BaiShanLin.”

The Forestry Commissioner said the organisation will be able to determine who is leading the illegality as there is a chain of custody verification. It is hoped the investigation would be completed by next month.

The Chinese company had its concessions taken away in 2016.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

 

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