GRA Enforcement Officers shot by smuggler during operation
Two officers attached to the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) were shot to the face and abdomen after they came under gunfire during an anti-smuggling operation late Thursday night.
The GRA in a statement said the officers are currently undergoing surgery and that the suspect is known to both the GRA and the police for his smuggling activities.
The officers were in GRA’s vessel at about 11:45hrs in the Mahaica, East Coast Demerara area when they came under high-powered and spotlighted gunfire from the suspect’s property and vessel.
Based on information received, the GRA officers along with ranks from the Guyana Police Force, moved to intercept a motor vessel owned by the suspect which was allegedly transporting smuggled goods in the Mahaica River.
GRA said it is “clear evidence” that the perpetrator was tipped off after the officers came under fire.
“The LEID officers took evasive action by lying flat in their vessel and returned fire in the general direction of the perpetrators. However, the perpetrator’s bullets pierced the GRA’s vessel and injured two of the officers in the abdomen and face,” GRA stated.
It is unclear at this time if any of the suspects or any other person were injured during the shooting. The owner of the vessel is also yet to be arrested.
“Despite the constant threat to their lives, LEID Officers continue to fearlessly execute their duty in order to curb the scourge of smuggling and safeguard the country’s revenues. The Authority welcomes the help of the public and will continue to utilise the resources of its sister Agencies to this effect,” GRA stated.
Investigations are ongoing.