A number of luxury vehicles are making their way into Guyana with no records to show who they belong to. This was confirmed yesterday with Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Godfrey Statia.
He said that the problem was detected a few months ago but it was larger than anticipated.
Statia said, “You know how many vehicles are in this country without license plates? It is unbelievable. Look, vehicles continue to come from Suriname. We picked up three the other day and there was no record of them coming into Guyana. There are no records with us. And another set came in at one of the wharves. And with our investigations we were able to seize it. It is rampant and it is being done in collusion with some of my officers…”
The GRA Commissioner General said that these vehicle issues are further compounded by re-migrants who continue to abuse their duty free concessions.
The tax chief said, “A few days ago I sent my officers on an exercise to seize one of these high end vehicles. We had checked the records and realized that the person who owns it is not even in the country. He breached his agreement. You are supposed to be in this country for 183 days and from the time you leave before that you breached the agreement. So I sent them to seize it…”
The Chartered Accountant said he will be recommending to the Finance Minister that there be a change to the system of granting duty free concessions to re-migrants.
Statia is of the view that duty free concessions should be given to individuals with skills and or those who left to study and wish to return to Guyana to invest in building the country.
Statia said, “The current system is not fair. Some people are getting duty free and bringing in all sorts of high powered vehicles and they can’t show me the source of the funds. I have a list of all the people who have duty free concessions and that is how I can tell you that it used to be one in five who is abusing the system but it is now one in three.”
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