Four GRA staf­fers dis­mis­sed for role in du­ty free scam

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

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.”

(Kai­e­teur news)

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