Following stringent operations undertaken by agents of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), two persons were on Tuesday arrested and later released on station bail for trying to dispose of some 375 boxes of smuggled chicken, which weighed approximately 15,000 pounds (lbs).
GRA disclosed that several operations were conducted across the country in Georgetown, Demerara and Berbice, where the foreign chicken was discovered.
The smuggled product was seized from two separate cold storage facilities in East Berbice, Region Six, after it was discovered that the commodities were unlawfully being disposed of by the curators.
It was noted that, over the past week, members of the GRA’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) assisted in the seizure of 190 boxes and one pack of chicken from one of the locations in Corentyne, Berbice, and 52 boxes and one pack from another facility at Annandale, East Coast of Demerara.
GRA explained that other exercises were also conducted in Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice and in the Bourda Market, Georgetown, with more “irregularities in the sale of uncustomed chicken” being noted. Seizures and legal action were taken.
“The GRA seized an aggregate of 268 boxes and two packs of chicken (weighing approximately 10,720 lbs). That amount was handed over to the Ministry of Public Health for appropriate use under the instruction of the Commissioner-General,” the country’s premiere revenue-collecting agency said.
GRA added that in future it would seek to “minimize recurrences” of smuggled chicken entering the local market. The seized chicken will be donated “for utilisation by the appropriate Ministries and other State Agencies, rather than offering them for sale to the general public”.
The revenue body said it is in the process of acquiring and establishing cold storage facilities in its warehouses in Berbice and Georgetown. Between January and April, 2016, GRA noted, it had recouped some $114 million in previously lost revenues, which were recovered during anti-smuggling exercises. The body had emphasised the need for all businesses or persons who are required to pay taxes comply with all necessary requirements in terms of attaining licensing.