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GRA recovers millions lost in heavy-duty machinery scam

first_imgThe Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has managed to collect millions of dollars since it cracked down on the heavy-duty vehicle racket, which was discovered in 2017.GRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statia said that the Authority went out of its way to make it known that it was prepared to visit the interior locations where persons were using heavy-duty vehicles.“We sent our officers out there, so they would be able to take the necessary photographs and then proceed to register those vehicles. But there has not been a great response in this regard,” he stated.The GRA boss said that the Authority has been going from village to village, houseGRA Commissioner General Godfrey Statiato house, and actually levying fines. “There has not been a great type of a response as we should have seen,” he explained.Nevertheless, once these persons are found culpable, the GRA would apply a conveyance charge of $150,000 in addition to the taxes required on each of these vehicles.It was reported that the State has been losing billions annually over excavators and other heavy-duty machinery and equipment that were not registered. This was first discovered during 2017.Statia reminded that this scheme has been on GRA’s radar for some time now. He outlined that exercises were carried out, monitoring vehicles that had been moving within the country, especially excavators and draglines, but when checks were made, there was no record of them in the system.“It was on the cards for a little while, but then what we found is that there was one particular excavator that was imported and we could not have found it, it was cleared and we could not have found it until now. And now that we have gone through additional transactions,” he noted.The GRA Head had pointed out the problem was as long as these machinery and heavy-duty equipment were not registered, the Authority would be in a position to find or trace them.“It is not only with the heavy duty…Heavy-duty [machinery] has just been on the forefront for us…so when these excavators go into the interior, if they are not registered then, they cannot be traced.”Further asked about the scale of the scheme, the GRA Head had said that it was not all importers of heavy-duty machinery and equipment who were involved in the racket.Heavy-duty equipment and machinery are utilised by most sectors in Guyana. The mining sector and Government are the biggest importers of these.Statia pointed out that “somewhere along the line, the system went lax and allowed these excavators to be roaming free without numbers and without registration. We need to regularise them.”last_img read more