As the crackdown on the illegal fuel trade continues, authorities have sealed two boats at a fishing complex over the weekend.
According to officials of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), a team of Customs and other officials descended on the McDoom facilities of Pritipaul Singh Investments (PSI) over the weekend. During the inspections, two vessels were said to be sealed after large quantities of fuel were found on them. One of the vessels is the Captain Lloyd.
In all, officials found “hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel” that was not supposed to be there.
Under concession agreements with Government, fishing companies in Guyana can purchase quantities of fuel overseas for use in their operations. However, there are conditions with regards to how much fuel can be kept at any one time.
In the case of PSI, the complex was not supposed to have more than 10,000 gallons on site.
GRA has announced a major clampdown to ensure that illegal fuel is reduced on the market.
The smuggled fuel is not only making its way to the gas stations but the hinterland gold fields and logging camps, where monitoring is harder.
GRA has increased monitoring in border areas, with hundreds of millions in taxes said to be lost in revenues annually. The illegal trade is said to be a huge one.
It was only recently that GRA along with the Guyana Energy Agency detained a fuel boat, Jubilee, with over 200,000 gallons. The taxes amounted to $36M. It had to be paid before the vessel was allowed to leave.
GRA has signaled its intentions to go after a number of other players in the industry.
With concessions seeing those with licences paying as little as 10 percent, the profits from fuel smuggling can be enormous, with the current taxes at 50 percent now.
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