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Corriverton woman alleges harassment by GRA officers

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By Leroy Smith

A Corriverton woman has expressed fear for her life and that of her family after enforcement officers of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) barged into her home and took her into custody when they failed to locate another relative who is reportedly wanted by the agency.

 

56-year-old Indrouti Shamshundar of Block 19 Line path, Lot 536 Corriverton, Berbice said it all started on Friday when enforcement officers of GRA barged into her home looking for her 20- year-old nephew.

 

Being unable to locate the young man, the officers took away her passport and demanded that she go with them to the Springlands office of the GRA.

 

“Them tek way me passport, them say ‘put on yuh shoe’ that them have to take me down now. Me seh ‘take me down where?’ Them say that ‘you don’t have to argue’ that this boy owe the revenue $1.3M. me seh ‘me?  me nah owe nobody nothing, you nah have to take me down.’ Them seh yes that me ah argue and tell them lies” the woman related.

 

According to Mrs. Shamshundar, she did not lie to the officers, since she truly does not know anyone by the name they are asking. She said her nephew is known to her by the name of “ratty.”

 

She added that she recently returned to Guyana from the United States to check on her ailing 78-year-old mother.

 

The woman said that amidst protests, she was taken to the GRA office at Springlands, where she was told that she will be passing through the court and will be required to pay a fine.

 

The officers who reportedly visited the woman’s home are said to be from Georgetown and were identified as Eusi Robertson, Mark Zippan and Alvin Seaford.

 

Upon enquiring, News Room understands that the woman’s nephew was charged with smuggling and a fine was imposed on him. Family members are however adamant that the fine which was imposed on the young man did not meet the million dollar mark as the GRA officers claimed.

 

The family was told that when the young man arrives home, they should turn him over to the GRA enforcement officers in Berbice.

 

It was disclosed that the 20-year-old man has written a letter to the GRA seeking leniency with respect to the fine which was imposed on him. It is unclear, however, if the failure to pay the fine for a certain period would have attracted any interest.

 

The woman said the behaviour of the enforcement officers were uncalled for and is seeking justice.

 

Contact was made with an officer from the Guyana Revenue Authority who promised to look into the matter and return a call to the News Room.

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