Several persons charged for chicken smuggling operations- GRA statement
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Tuesday said several persons were charged for chicken smuggling following investigations and reminded the public that it is a crime to engage in smuggling.
The GRA said anyone who attempts to import or export goods with intent to defraud the Revenue Authority of any duties is guilty of an offense and is liable for such offense to fines and or imprisonment in accordance with Section 218 of the Customs Act Chapter 82:01.
GRA further said GRA’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID), with help from allied regulators such as the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department and the Veterinary Public Health Unit, Ministry of Health, has clamped down on a number of operations involving illegal importation and movement of large quantities of illegally obtained goods (including chicken and alcohol). Several persons were charged for these offenses.
It also reminds that uncustomed goods not only affect revenue collection but also seriously threatens public health and safety, particularly when goods are perishable.
Last September, a Magistrate in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, ordered a Defendant, Richie Shaw of lot 22 Mc Doom, East Bank Demerara, to pay a fine in the amount of $4,950,000 (three times the value of the goods seized) or to one year imprisonment in default of payment for knowingly concealing uncustomed chicken contrary to section 218 (c) of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01.
The Revenue Authority, as it continues with a “zero tolerance” approach against smuggling and other illegal activities, thereby allowing for a ‘level playing field’ for legitimate businesses and the collection of revenue, encourages persons involved in such activities to cease and desist therefrom, and bring themselves into compliance with the nation’s Tax, Trade and Border laws.
In this regard, the Revenue Authority urges anyone with knowledge of smuggling activities to report same to the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) on 2276060 ext 3202 & 3206. Reports can be made anonymously and treated with the strictest confidence.