He warned that non-compliance with his request would
result in heavy penalties being enforced, inclusive of the
payment of the owed duty and taxes, a fine of three times
the value of the vehicles and one year in jail. In
illustrating the gravity of the penalties, Sattaur said that
the Purchase Tax to be paid is 100% of the cost, insurance
and freight (CIF) of the vehicle plus the Duty and the
Consumption Tax. He said: "They have to surrender their
vehicles to me [and] they have one week [to do so]."
He said that for yesterday the GRA interviewed six
persons and that a team of officers had travelled to Berbice
to speak with others.
Sattaur said that duty-free concessions would only be
renewed on the criterion that they satisfy all the
documentary requirements for the 'privileged' status.
According to Sattaur, the offences are serious as they
involved hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.
Meanwhile, police said yesterday there have been no
charges filed in relation to the scam so far. The police
source said the investigation is continuing and that a
number of persons have been questioned so far.
President Jagdeo, in a televised interview on Saturday,
said he had directed that those named in the GRA
investigation as being reportedly involved, be either sent
home or dismissed to allow for the investigation to proceed.
The GRA investigation states that of 86 duty-free letters
that the Ministry of Finance issued in August, over half of
them were found to be bogus.
Rekha has maintained he did nothing wrong saying he was
not sure where the fraud took place, whether at his ministry
or at Foreign Affairs.
He told this newspaper that due to the large volume of
documents that he had to look at on a daily basis, he could
not check each and every one of them.