Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus, this morning, granted 67-year-old Eugene Gilbert, Director of Atlantic Fuels Inc, $300,000 bail after he pled not guilty to the charge of making a false declaration to the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).
GRA is alleging that on November 12, 2020, at its Camp Street, Georgetown Headquarters, Atlantic Fuels Inc, caused to be made and subscribed a false declaration on invoice number 100 valuing $40 million, for customs declaration reference number GY 410C, contrary to the Customs Act.
He will make his next court appearance on February 21, 2021.
The fuel company is owned by former Director of the Guyana Water Incorporation (GWI) Richard Van West-Charles, a prominent supporter of the APNU/AFC. Commissioner-General of GRA Godfrey Statia instituted legal proceedings against the company in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts.
The charge was instituted under Section 217 (1) (a) of the Customs Act which reads- “Any person who, in any matter relating to the customs, or under the control or management of the Comptroller- (a) makes and subscribed, or causes to be made and subscribed, any false declaration; or…”
On summary conviction, the person is liable to a fine of $25,000, together with imprisonment for three years. In November 2015, Charles was granted a license to import/wholesale and store fuel by the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA). The license is valid until 2025. The company’s address is listed as Lot 16 Sublot ‘A’ Mudlot, Kingston, Georgetown.
This is not the first time the fuel company has been under the tax agency’s radar. In 2019, the company was under investigation by GRA for under-invoicing and falsifying invoices. As a result, GRA went after the fuel company for taxes for that year.