Apr 25, 2018 News
The Ministry of Health appeared to have erred when it accepted a donation of a Hummer SUV last year.
A non-governmental organization (NGO), Hope For The Nation Foundation, made the donation.
The vehicle was registered in the name of the Ministry on April 10, 2017.
However, it appeared that the registration was a front. The vehicle was still being used by the foundation.
The discovery was made by Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) after a complaint by the original owner of the vehicle earlier this year.
The owner, who is a New York-based Guyanese, is reportedly making moves to pay the taxes so he can get back the vehicle.
Yesterday, GRA’s Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia, was questioned about the investigation.
He said that from investigations, the vehicle was donated by the foundation to the ministry.
However, there was evidence that the foundation was still using the vehicle.
Under duty free concessions, there are strict conditions how vehicles and goods are to be used.
Breaches could result in the correct taxes being calculated and charged.
Kaieteur News reported in February that GRA seized a Hummer vehicle that was questionably registered to the Ministry of Health.
An investigation was started on the NGO.
According to Government officials, the 2007 HU3 model Hummer landed here more than two years ago.
It was owned by a US-based Guyanese. The vehicle came here from Suriname and was used for a while by the man.
However, the New York businessman was about to take the vehicle back when he was told that it could be registered here, without the necessary taxes and duties being waived.
The businessman reportedly signed it over to an NGO named Hope For the Nation Foundation.
The vehicle was registered, as PWW 1458, last year April in the name of the Ministry of Health.
In January, it was reported that the businessman became suspicious when he came to Guyana and was not allowed to use the SUV.
“He (the businessman) reported that he had signed it over to the Hope Foundation with the intention that he would be a member and have access to it to do the foundation’s work when he is there.”
After reportedly being ejected from the Hummer one evening, in a desolate part of the city, the businessman attempted to take steps to get back his SUV.
It was only then that he shockingly learnt that the vehicle is registered to the Ministry of Health.
“This vehicle was never seized by Government. It was signed over to the Hope Foundation. How did it end up in the hands of the Ministry?”
The Hope Foundation has reportedly been donating medical and other supplies to Guyana.
The matter was recently reported to the Guyana Revenue Authority, which immediately sprang into action.
The Hummer was detained on the road and taken away by GRA enforcement staffers.
GRA has been clamping down on the frauds designed to rob the state of taxes.
Recently, a Ferrari that came into the country, reportedly via a “remigrant” application, but destined for a resale, was also seized.
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