Four GRA staffers dismissed for role in duty free scam
Four staffers of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) have been dismissed for their roles in a duty free concessions scam.
The decision was reportedly relayed to the staffers on Wednesday and would come more than two weeks after news of a major probe into a fraud.
And there is likely to be more sackings in the coming weeks, a well-placed source confirmed wednesday.
The news of the dismissals would come as no surprise, as it was just recently that Commissioner-General, Godfrey Statia, warned staffers of a tough stance against corruption.
Two employees were taken into custody last month after a forgery was detected using the name of Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Hema Khan.
The matter had to do with the importation of two All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs). The two employees allegedly forged documents purporting to show that the ATVs were subjected to duty free concessions.
The police had also been questioning the persons who brought in the ATVs.
Already, GRA has taken a decision to post notices at its locations warning the public to desist from paying staffers any forms of inducements. GRA, through its Customs and other departments, has been battling corruption in its midst for years now. Following a report of the fraud, the CommissionerGeneral in a general meeting told staffers that staff found taking bribes would be immediately fired.
“Having been at the helm of the authority for just about twelve weeks and being translucently clear at the onset that he has a no-nonsense approach to bribery and other forms of corrupt practices, Mr. Statia reiterated that in addition to honesty and integrity, professionalism must be paramount, especially in an organisation where officers are sworn to secrecy,” GRA had said in its statement.
According to Statia, he intends to rid the GRA of the wrongdoing that has tarnished its reputation in the past by dealing “condignly” with those who insist on bringing the Revenue Authority to disrepute.
GRA had appealed for members of the public to play their part in the process by avoiding any form of collusion with staff, such as payment of monies for services offered by the authority.
“Members of the public are just as guilty should they aid and abet the commission of an offence by willingly participating in any clandestine act and may also be subject to prosecution.”