Senior GRA official sent home following late night shakedown of businessman
Jul 16, 2017 , 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.