The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) recently seized more than 80, 000 litres of diesel being transported on a fishing boat.
In a statement, the GRA said officers of its Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) intercepted the vessel, named “Plumrose,” and determined that though the intended use of the vessel was listed as “fishing purposes”, it was converted for fuel transport.
The Captain and crew are currently assisting the GRA with the ongoing investigations, and charges are expected to be laid shortly. Representatives of the Guyana Energy Agency were contacted by GRA and the two agencies are working in collaboration on the investigation.
The GRA said it has seen a rise in fuel smuggling over the past few weeks, and that the interception of additional vessels will lead to a substantial amount of revenue being recovered.
“The Authority has taken a relentless approach against smuggling and will be working in close collaboration with its sister agencies to minimize these activities,” GRA stated.
Over the past year, the GRA has recouped billions of dollars in taxes from seizures and auctions not only from illegal fuel but also from breaches in motor vehicle concessions and IDA’s, and commonly smuggled items which include alcohol, foreign imported chicken, mosquito coils.
“The Authority wishes to advise these persons to cease and desist from smuggling activities failing which, instead of accepting fines, the relevant charges will be instituted in a court of law.”