Vessel seized with smuggled fuel to pay $36M in taxes- GRA

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A shipping vessel which was discovered with over 200,000 gallons of suspected smuggled fuel during last week will have to pay some $36 million in taxes to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia

This disclosure was made on Monday by Commissioner-General of the GRA Godfrey Statia who said that the vessel was not seized but the GRA has boarded the vessel until the taxes have been paid.

Statia was referring to the vessel named ‘Jubilee’ which entered the Georgetown port on Friday but failed to disclose that it had fuel to customs officials, until checks were made.

At present, the GRA is examining records from the Maritime Administration and Demerara Harbour Bridge to determine the number of times the vessel had entered Guyana.

The Commissioner-General said this will determine if there was some logistical issues or if the vessel was in fact smuggling fuel. However, he said some inadequacies were discovered at the Customs Boathouse.

According to him, persons made attempts to falsify an entry after the boat was already boarded.

Information reaching this publication, suggests that a senior Government official and a local sports heavyweight have direct links to the vessel, which is owned by a company incorporated in Guyana under the Companies Act in 2016.

This publication has been informed that these individuals have been shareholders of the company since 2017.

Statia said a similar seizure last year, saw the captain being fined $20 million to release the vessel.

 

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