Atlantic Fuels says won invoice case brought against it by GRA
Magistrate Dylon Bess on Wednesday upheld a no-case submission which was made by attorney Siand Dhurjon on behalf of Atlantic Fuels Inc, the company that was charged in 2021 by the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) with falsifying an invoice for $40 million.
According to a press release from the company, “Jason Moore prosecuted the company on behalf of Mr. Godfrey Statia, the Commissioner General of the GRA and on Wednesday afternoon, Magistrate Dylon Bess read out his judgment. The learned magistrate ruled that he reviewed the submissions made by both Mr. Moore and Mr. Dhurjon and found favour with Mr. Dhurjon’s submissions that the falsity of the invoice was not proven. The magistrate further ruled that the charge filed by Mr. Moore ‘lacks specificity of the falsity’ that the GRA was alleging. The magistrate was at a loss for the Court could not know if the falsity alleged had to do with the value declared, the amount of fuel declared, or the supplier. The magistrate reminded Mr. Moore that a court must never have to speculate and that an accused must always know the case he has to meet. The Court held that Mr. Jason Moore failed to make out the charge against AFI even at the preliminary prima facie stage.”
It further stated, “The Court asked the GRA to be reminded that the emails admitted into evidence concerning the fuel transaction were not admitted for the truth of their contents but merely for the fact that such correspondences were exchanged. In an invited comment, Dr (Richard) Van West-Charles remarked that it was been a ‘long road to freedom’ from the false allegations of the GRA and that justice was finally served.”
In January 2021, the company’s director, Eugene Gilbert, was charged with making a false declaration on invoice number 100, contrary to the Customs Act, allegedly committed on November 12, 2020, at GRA’s Camp Street, Georgetown headquarters. It was said that the invoiced amount was US$200,000, which was equivalent to $40 million.
Additionally, the release also stated that, “the charge filed by the Guyana Energy Agency against Atlantic Fuels Inc. for knowingly furnishing false information to the GEA is due for decision on