Three of the detained customs officers who were arrested following a blackmail plot have been released on $100,000 station bail each, as investigations continue.
The three officers were arrested on Friday for allegedly trying to blackmail two top Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) officials, who had implicated them in a massive cigarette smuggling racket.
Kaieteur News was told that one of the implicated officers, turned out for work yesterday.
Sources at GRA yesterday said that a meeting was held late yesterday afternoon between a number of high ranking officials.
This newspaper was told that the two top officials from the company were not at the meeting. Meanwhile police sources have confirmed that charges are likely.
One police official said that a file is being prepared and is expected to be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice.
Reliable sources had disclosed to this newspaper that the GRA staffers are among a number of ranks who were implicated in a recent plot by smugglers to ship containers of counterfeit cigarettes to Suriname.
Last August, authorities in Suriname intercepted a container of the cigarettes that arrived as another product and shipped them back to Guyana.
According to reports, three of the GRA employees received information that they were to be given their dismissal letters shortly.
It is alleged that one of the staffers facing dismissal video-taped and also made an audio recording of a very senior GRA official.
The employee reportedly then attempted to use the recorded information to force the official to reverse the decision to fire him and his colleagues.
Instead, the GRA official contacted a senior political official and was directed to have the alleged extortionist dismissed immediately. The matter was also reported to the police and the staffer and his other colleagues were detained.
It is alleged that in August, a 20-foot container came into the country recently as cargo but for some reason was recorded as “in-transit”.
It reportedly contained several bales of counterfeit State Express 555 cigarettes.
The container was released and taken to Moleson Creek where it was somehow allowed to enter the Suriname/Guyana ferry.
But Suriname authorities at South Drain reportedly found that the driver transporting the container had no insurance documents and turned the container back.
It was in the Berbice region that members of the Berbice Anti-Smuggling Squad (BASS) reportedly held onto it and detained the driver.
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