Nov 07, 2008 News
A Prashad Nagar miner has alleged that a substantial quantity of cash and gold disappeared from his home yesterday after a group of men claiming to be Customs officers searched his premises.
Azeem Baksh, a licensed dealer in precious metals, said that the men had claimed that they were searching for goods on which he had failed to pay duties.
According to him, no one, except an elderly caretaker, was at home when the search was conducted.
The miner said that he contacted the police and also filed a complaint with Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Khurshid Sattaur.
Contacted last night, Sattaur confirmed that Customs officers had visited Baksh’s premises.
He also said that Baksh’s allegation is being investigated.
Baksh told Kaieteur News that he was driving past his home on the way to Ogle, East Coast Demerara at around 14:00 hrs yesterday when he saw about “four or five men” in his yard.
According to the miner, the men were all wearing civilian clothes, and he observed that his caretaker was with them.
Baksh said that he attempted to contact the caretaker by cell phone, but his employee’s phone was turned off.
He said that eventually, one of the men came up to his vehicle.
“I really thought that they were bandits because the one who approached me had a tattoo over one of his eyes,” Baksh said.
According to the miner, the man identified himself as a Customs officer and said that they had received reports that Baksh had uncustomed goods on his premises.
Baksh said that the ‘Customs officer’ informed him that they had found nothing illegal on the premises during their search.
At the time, Baksh said that he had assumed that the men had only searched his yard.
However, the ‘Customs officer’ also asked the miner to step out of his vehicle, but Baksh said he refused and informed the man that he was heading to the Ogle Aerodrome.
At that point, the ‘Customs officers’ reportedly entered a red pickup and drove off.
Baksh said that when he was heading to his destination he succeeded in contacting his caretaker by phone. According to the miner, the employee alleged that the ‘Customs officers’ had ordered him to turn off the phone after the caretaker had tried to contact Baksh.
He said that the caretaker also claimed that the men had forced him to open his employer’s home.
The miner said that it was only then that he realized that the men had entered his home.
Baksh said that when he eventually returned home, he discovered that a substantial quantity of money and raw gold had vanished from his house.
The miner told Kaieteur News that he filed a report about the theft at the Prashad Nagar Police Outpost and then contacted the GRA Commissioner General.
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