By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Khurshid Sattaur has confirmed reports that several Enforcement Officers came under heavy gunfire from a businessman, accused of being involved in smuggling, while carrying out an operation along the East Coast of Demerara last evening.
Sattaur would not provide details in relation to what had transpired, expect to say that the Officers were acting based on instructions.
However, iNews was reliably informed that the Officers were about to conduct a search on the Dundee Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara premises after finding a bus full of chicken, believed smuggled, when they were greeted with heavy gun fire from a group of men.
Persons claim the GRA employees were shot at with high powered weapons, specifically AK47s. While the Officers returned fire they were forced to retreat since theirs were not comparable.
The men then drove away with the bus load of chickens as the GRA Officers drove their shattered vehicle, seeking further shelter. No one was injured.
Harry is said to be a ‘known’ smuggler who would bribe police officers from time to time to keep his trade going. iNews could not ascertain if there were any charges or previous dents in his trades before.
He is reported to be smuggling chicken, fuel and liquor from Suriname and other neighboring territories.
Sources from inside GRA say that the staff is now fearful for their lives; explaining that the staff is not equipped to deal with such retaliation in carrying out their duties.
It was recommended that the task force which was set up to deal with contraband and smuggling be used more when carrying out such operations. Others are concerned that they remain ill-equipped to deal with such eventualities and called for upgrading of GRA’s weaponry.
A report was lodged with the police; however, efforts to contact the Force on investigations into the matter proved futile.