…seeks millions of dollars in damages through lawsuit
Accused of being a part of a plot to defraud the state of millions payable in duties in order to remain in possession of a
Luxury Mercedes SUV, Kamal Mangal—uncle of Attorney General, Anil Nandlall—has successfully secured an interim injunction effectively gagging this publication from reporting on anything in relation to his vehicle.
The interim injunction was ordered by Justice Diana Insanally, and relates to three articles published under the captions: “Remigrant who imported Mercedes Benz SUV says…’I don’t know I have to live in Guyana’…spends more time out than in’; ‘Remigrant was not in Guyana when vehicle was cleared, registered –in two years, spends 20 months overseas’ and ‘Duty free concessions…GRA fails to monitor remigrant …allows AG’s uncle to dodge taxes.’
Apart from an injunction seeking to prevent Kaieteur News’, Publisher, Glenn Lall or Editor-in-Chief, Adam Harris from further publishing anything in relation to the vehicle, Mangal is also seeking several million dollars in damages.
Lall has since indicated that this publication will be contesting the injunction granted as well as the lawsuit filed, saying that “no one should be prevented from publishing the truth.”
Mangal is seeking in excess of $10M for each of the articles published as well as in excess of $10M for aggravated or exemplary damages and any further costs that the court orders.
In his affidavit of support, Mangal who is being represented by Attorney-at-Law, Sase Gunraj, claims that the articles over which he has sued, “conveyed the clear impression that I was engaged in unlawful activities, defrauding the Republic of Guyana of taxes and engaged in criminal conduct.”
According to Mangal in his writ, the words in the articles were understood to mean that he dishonestly and intentionally defrauded the Republic of Guyana of revenue; engaged in evasion of taxes; benefited from tax exemptions to which he was not entitled; failed to comply with the terms of conditions of the grant of tax exemptions granted by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) and further that he has committed a criminal offence or several criminal offences.
Mangal in his application to the court said that upon migration to the United States of America, he was employed at several places and with his earnings he invested in several residential properties and business ventures, from which he earns an income.
He further states that during that period he travelled to Guyana on numerous occasions, during which time he began exploring investment opportunities locally with a view to re-migrating.
This decision, he said, was taken in 2011 and as a result he began making preparation.
To this end, Mangal claims that he renovated and made modifications to one of his properties located in Prashad Nagar, Georgetown, to be used as his place of dwelling upon his return.
According to Mangal, he applied to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a grant of remigrant status, so as to import personal effects, household items and a motor vehicle.
This application, according to Mangal, was granted by the Ministry in September 2012 and the following month, he received a letter from GRA granting him tax exemptions on a motor vehicle and personal and household items.
Mangal said that on November 2, 2012, the vehicle in question was registered in his name by GRA and assigned registration number PPP 9090.
In his writ, Mangal is adamant that he has complied with all conditions specified when he was granted the remigrant status and tax exemptions.
The matter which was heard before Justice Insanally, has been set for a November 18 hearing.
According to Mangal in his claim, he is fearful that unless restrained Harris, Lall and the National Media and Publishing Company will continue what he calls a malicious attack against him.
He gave the court an undertaking to pay for all or any damage Lall, Harris or the National Media and Publishing Company may suffer if it is subsequently determined that the injunction was wrongly granted.
According to Mangal, he is the owner of movable and immovable property located in Prashad Nagar, Georgetown, valued in excess of $100M among other properties and as such has sufficient means to satisfy any award of damages the court may award against him.
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