Two persons have been detained for Thursday night’s incident which left two Customs officers nursing pellet wounds.
According to the police, they have started investigating the shooting incident which occurred around 21:50hrs Thursday at Bee Hive, East Coast Demerara.
Police confirmed that two officers of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) received gunshot injuries to their right and left hand, respectively.
“The Enforcement Officers received treatment at a private medical institution and were sent away. Up to this time no arrest made,” the police said.
That statement was sent early in the day.
Police said that investigations revealed that soon after the officers arrived at a house and were making enquiries of its owner, two vehicles approached and the occupants discharged several rounds at them.
Reportedly, one of the weapons used to fire at the Customs officials was a shotgun.
The GRA officials “adapted tactical positions and returned fire; as a result the vehicles sped away.”
Yesterday, GRA’s Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia, disclosed that his staffers are doing “okay”. He said that two persons were picked up, with one on the run.
It is believed that this third man was injured after the Customs officials returned fire.
The Customs officials were reportedly on the East Coast area to halt a smuggling operation, Kaieteur News was told.
The stretch of area, including Bee Hive, is well known for its smuggling drop-off points.
Meanwhile, GRA in a statement, said that three Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) Officers of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) were the target of gunfire during an anti-smuggling operation on Thursday.
“Acting on information received, around 21:00hrs, a team of officers coordinated an approach to intercept a motor vessel and motor vehicles suspected to be transporting uncustomed goods (a quantity of alcoholic beverages and foreign chicken) in Beehive, East Coast Demerara.”
During the exercise, GRA said, the officers observed a white Toyota motor car turning into the street and stopping in front of the house that was under surveillance.
“The occupants of the motor vehicle exited and proceeded to maliciously shoot at the LEID Officers with an undisclosed number and caliber of firearms. LEID Officers were forced to take evasive action and defensively returned fire in the general direction of the perpetrators with their GRA issued firearms.”
The shooters then retreated to their motor vehicle and sped away, which allowed LEID Officers to regroup and exit the location safely.
“It was then realized that two of the officers sustained injuries with what appeared to be shotgun pellet wounds to their arms and leg. The matter was immediately reported to the Police.”
According to GRA, despite the constant threat to their lives, LEID Officers of the GRA continue to fearlessly execute their duty in an effort to safeguard the country’s revenue and curb the scourge of smuggling.
“The authority is enlisting the cooperation of the general public in providing information and assistance in apprehending persons involved in these illegal activities.”
A number of persons were arrested in connection with this incident, GRA disclosed.
In the past year, GRA has stepped up its anti-smuggling campaign, netting large hauls of chicken and liquor.
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