Senior GRA official sent home following late night shakedown of businessman

Senior GRA official sent home following late night shakedown of businessman

Jul 16, 2017 News, http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....down-of-businessman/

An Assistant Commissioner of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is in deep trouble and could find himself without a job in the new week.

The official, from the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID), was sent on leave Tuesday, pending an investigation, GRA sources disclosed yesterday.

The same officer was sacked in 2010 by former management for inefficiency. He was accused then, of taking bribes.

He was rehired by the new Governing Board of Directors in 2015 when the Coalition Government took office, receiving more than $500,000 per month in salary.

Kaieteur News was told that the official, who has responsibilities for enforcement in the various regions for GRA, apparently angered a Berbice businessman after a driver of LEID was recently sent late one night, to the home of the businessman to uplift cash.

The businessman reportedly made contact with senior GRA officials who launched an investigation.

The Assistant Commissioner was sent on leave Tuesday. A decision on his future is likely as early as next week.

According to other complaints, the Assistant Commissioner even requested two 50-inch television sets as a bribe from another businessman.

Some GRA employees were aware that the officer was sent off but were tight-lipped on the issue.

According to officials, the Assistant Commissioner was sent packing in 2010 by former Commissioner General, Khurshid Sattaur, for a “history of corruption”.

However, a senior LEID official and a member of the Governing Board of Directors insisted that he should come back.

According to a high-ranking official, this latest incident is a worrying situation for GRA.

“If you can’t trust the people at the enforcement level, who can you trust? These are the people who are the gatekeepers.”

GRA, the country’s premier revenue collection agency, had been grappling with corruption for years now.

Customs officials have been known to be on the payroll of businessmen for turning a blind eye on shipments and containers that come in. Some of the scams include under-invoicing and declaring one item but really bringing in another high-valued item.

As a result, annually, Guyana has been losing billions of dollars in revenue because of corruption at wharves and check points.

GRA has placed security cameras on the wharves and has announced zero tolerance on corruption in its ranks but the incidents have continued.

The administration on assuming office in 2015 had announced a major shakeup at GRA, sending home long-serving Commissioner-General Khurshid Sattaur and a number of senior officials.

A new board of directors, under accountant Rawle Lucas, was appointed.
Also hired as the new Commissioner-General was Godfrey Statia, who has years of experience in tax collection in Guyana.

Original Post

Senior GRA official sent home following late night shakedown of businessman

Jul 16, 2017 News, http://www.kaieteurnewsonline....down-of-businessman/

An Assistant Commissioner of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is in deep trouble and could find himself without a job in the new week.

The official, from the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID), was sent on leave Tuesday, pending an investigation, GRA sources disclosed yesterday.

The same officer was sacked in 2010 by former management for inefficiency. He was accused then, of taking bribes.

He was rehired by the new Governing Board of Directors in 2015 when the Coalition Government took office, receiving more than $500,000 per month in salary.

Interesting indeed.

Or was it that he didn't share the proceeds with the relevant folks, or that he "accidentally" harassed some one who was paying off folks on high to be protected against folks like him?

Guyana is so corrupt that I often wonder when one person is made an example of and yet the system continues to be corrupt. 

caribny posted:

Or was it that he didn't share the proceeds with the relevant folks, or that he "accidentally" harassed some one who was paying off folks on high to be protected against folks like him?

Guyana is so corrupt that I often wonder when one person is made an example of and yet the system continues to be corrupt. 

Corruption is so entrenched that it has become the norm across administrations. In fact recently I had to deal with land and mines and was shocked at how bribery was solicited openly and even shrugged off as a cost of doing business by the higher ups. To get a simple valuation of property, if you didn't grease the palm of the engineers and his boss, your application would be delayed for months on end. When the valuation is finally done, you also got to pay the chief engineer to get the paperwork or you would be told to come back week after week until you complied with the bribery. They don't even call it bribery, but I see that it is, which official will ask for 10,000 GYD without giving a receipt, stating that this is how much documents would cost? 

Drugb posted:
caribny posted:

. To get a simple valuation of property, if you didn't grease the palm of the engineers and his boss, your application would be delayed for months on end. 

Oh yes we have had several issues like this when we were selling off various properties in Guyana.  One of the buyers even paid the bribe as he was tired of the delay.  He paid it as he lives in Guyana and so would have been "charged" less than an overseas based person would be.

This is why I laugh when one person is singled out.  The ENTIRE system is corrupt and corruption reaches down even to the simple task of trying to get a birth certificate.  

No other Caribbean country is that corrupt.  In those places it would be business people and customs or real estate developers seeking permits.

caribny posted:
Drugb posted:
caribny posted:

. To get a simple valuation of property, if you didn't grease the palm of the engineers and his boss, your application would be delayed for months on end. 

Oh yes we have had several issues like this when we were selling off various properties in Guyana.  One of the buyers even paid the bribe as he was tired of the delay.  He paid it as he lives in Guyana and so would have been "charged" less than an overseas based person would be.

This is why I laugh when one person is singled out.  The ENTIRE system is corrupt and corruption reaches down even to the simple task of trying to get a birth certificate.  

No other Caribbean country is that corrupt.  In those places it would be business people and customs or real estate developers seeking permits.

This is one of the main reason why I would hesitate to retire in Guyana. I am afraid that I would compromise my ethics and accept corruption as a norm. 

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