Nov 01, 2009 News
The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has spent $40 million to acquire three boats it says, and it will be used to patrol the country’s three main rivers and the Atlantic Ocean with a view to intercepting illegal goods.
Commissioner General, Khurshid Sattaur, was on hand to see the high-powered boats being offloaded at the John Fernandes wharf in the city yesterday. The boats are equipped with GPS and a modern navigational system.
Sattaur said the boats will help the Authority to patrol Guyana’s waterways that stretch some 200 miles. He said that in the past the GRA has received assistance from the Guyana Coast Guard, but saw it wise to acquire its own patrol boats.
Sattaur said that everything from vehicles, fuel and alcohol come into Guyana illegally, and it is hoped that the acquisition of the boats will help the GRA bring down smuggling by as much as 25 percent.
He said that goods are smuggled into Guyana from Venezuela, Suriname and from free ports in the Caribbean.
He said that smuggling presents unfair competition for legitimate businesses, and as such this will help bring the retail of goods on a level playing field.
Meanwhile, Sattaur said the GRA is building an $85 million warehouse at Eccles to provide storage for goods that are intercepted.
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