Importers use barrels to defraud GRA
- Major probe underway
The Guyana Revenue Authority has uncovered a fraud that has robbed the coffers of millions of dollars. And the fraud was facilitated by a system that the GRA employed to speed up consignments to households.
Barrels and boxes from overseas attracted a fee of $4,000. These were supposed to contain personal items such as clothing, footwear and small household items.
However, the GRA has found that for the past three years people have been using the system to import merchandise which is retailed in stores, supermarkets and even a shopping mall (Regent Street Multiplex).
Importers have been using the barrels to import clothing, generators, electrical appliances and electric tools, large quantities of footwear and other items for retail. The fraud was allowed because, for the greater part, Customs officers either turned a blind eye to the shipment or were coerced into accepting payment for the easy passage of the barrel and other containers.
A major investigation is now underway.