GRA investigating seized fuel ship’s records

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Guyana Revenue Authority has launched an extensive investigation to determine the prior movements of motor vessel Jubilee, that was caught over the weekend with undeclared fuel.

Commissioner General, GRA Godfrey Statia.

This was revealed by Commissioner-General of GRA, Godfrey Statia at a press conference yesterday.

“We have now gone to look at the maritime records to see the frequency with which this boat would have been coming into port Georgetown. We are also checking with the Demerara Harbour Bridge to see the frequency with which these boats have the (corresponding) information with the maritime (records) and the Harbour Bridge,” Statia advised.”

Then we would be in a position to determine whether this was actually a hiccup in the system or (if there was an intent) to smuggle fuel,” Statia explained.

The Commissioner General also said that it has been observed that fuel normally exempted by the Guyana Energy Agency and GRA from locations such as Mabaruma and other interior areas is trickling into Georgetown

“We have to be extremely vigilant on that.  So long as there is cheap fuel at our border regions people will always buy those cheap fuels and try to bring it into port Georgetown,” Statia reasoned.

Further, the Commissioner-General told media operatives that GRA is also working to eliminate perceived loopholes which allow vessels to move freely without declaring their cargo. “We are trying to fix that particular aspect because what we found is that persons were trying to put the entry in after the boat was boarded. (As a) matter of fact days after the fuel was not marked.”

The motor vessel Jubilee was found with more than two hundred thousand gallons of unmarked, undeclared fuel over the weekend. According to the Commissioner-General the fuel attracts more than $36 million in taxes. It is likely the owners will be required to pay an additional fine of about $20 million to secure the release of the vessel.

 

By: Kidackie Amsterdam

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