GRA withdraws criminal charges against Glenn Lall, re – migrant couple

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Glenn Lall and his wife, Bhena Lall

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Criminal charges laid against Glenn Lall, Publisher of the Kaieteur News, his wife, Bhena Lall, along with Narootandeo and Gharbassi Brijnanan were dismissed by Magistrate Judy Latchman on Friday, February 06.

The Court was informed that Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) withdrew the charges against the parties, since they are no longer pursuing the matter.

The charges follow the seizure of two vehicles allegedly at the centre of a duty-free scam. The two vehicles, PRR 8398 and PRR 8399, were handed over to GRA and impounded at the Authority’s warehouse in August 2014 after an hour’s-long standoff between GRA officials and the Brijnanans’ son, Sankar, a high-ranking GRA employee.

iNews understands that the GRA has agreed to accept compensation in lieu of or in substitution for proceedings in a court of summary jurisdiction.

On October 13, 2014 the Lalls appeared before Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry to answer fraud and aiding and abetting charges.

The charges were filed by Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) Khurshid Sattaur on behalf of the tax agency after weeks of back and forth between Lall and Sattaur.

The charges read that both Mr. and Mrs. Lall knowingly dealt with goods with intent to defraud the state and evaded taxes that was payable to customs. They were placed on self bail.

Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges. The charges stemmed from the importation of two Lexus vehicles by Narootandeo and Gharbassi Brijnanans who are friends of the Lalls.

The Brijnanans imported the vehicles when they moved back to Guyana under the re – migrant scheme which allowed them duty free imports.

The Guyana Revenue Authority is alleging that the vehicles were being used by Lall and his wife from time to time.

Attorneys-at-law Mr. Mahendra Satram and Mr. Sandil Kissoon both represent the GRA.

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