[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA) has rushed to the defense of legitimate miners in the sector after reports surfaced over the past weeks of millions of dollars in gold being smuggled out of Guyana.
According to the miners’ representative body, while the need for an investigation is paramount, it is apposite to note that some of the miners do not engage in smuggling gold.
“The GGDMA hopes that a proper investigation will be conducted to ensure that legitimate miners are cleared of this stain. Legitimate miners do not smuggle gold, we are in the business of mining and work hard to ensure that our practices are free from hassles and are compliant with the law,” a release stated on September 10.
The Body is urging that all miners sell their gold to the Guyana Gold Board or other licensed buyers to avoid any complications.
“The Association wishes to remind all miners that they should sell their gold to the Guyana Gold Board or licensed dealers and to ensure that they always demand a receipt for their transaction. The extraction of minerals from Guyana’s subsurface and the required permission to do so comes with certain responsibilities. One such responsibility is to ensure that Guyana gets its required benefit. Smuggling does not benefit Guyana and only serves to enrich a few greedy individuals, additionally it opens up several avenues for additional illegal activities,” the statement noted.
On Wednesday, Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman said, “There are some known persons and other players, local and international who are on the radar and as I said, we are moving to take action,” noting that Guyana is working in collaboration with foreign governments to tackle the crime.
“There is gold smuggling going on in Guyana. We’re aware of it and it is problem that’s being addressed.”
iNews understands that a number of businessmen who have an interest in the gold mining sector have been fingered in the smuggling ring; most of them have businesses in Georgetown, Bartica and other interior communities.