Revenue authority says ‘nothing to hide’ over shoot-out, slams police

The Guyana Revenue Authority this afternoon denied a statement earlier today from the police that its officials were hampering an investigation into Thursday’s shoot-out with chicken smugglers at Dundee, Mahaicony.

The GRA press release follows:

Saturday July 19, 2014- The Guyana Revenue Authority is dismissing claims made by the police that their investigations into the armed attack on GRA’s Law Enforcement and Investigation Division Officers “are being stymied by the non-submission of statements to the police by GRA officials.” According to an inewsguyana report, the police also stated that the GRA LEID officials “have shown some reluctance to do so.”

The GRA views such statements as wicked, malicious and atrocious, and is calling for a retraction of same; and for the police to take swift action to have the criminal elements brought to justice as the GRA has been working with the police from the night of the incident with an initial report.

A LEID official noted that they are in constant communication with the police and finds it very disturbing that such statements were made. The official noted that they again met with investigating ranks yesterday and positively identified the suspect. The officers noted that while they were questioned, they sought to follow due process in order to avoid hearsay and ensure a proper case is made. The officers, not willing to provide oral responses that can be misconstrue and contorted, indicated that they would provide written statements and were told to submit same today.

Commissioner-General of the GRA, Mr. Khurshid Sattaur said that the actions of the police leaves one to question their motives in delaying justice since LEID officials made initial reports and were being asked to provide the oral statements which risks thwarting the course of justice and having a “known” smuggler go free. “The GRA has nothing to hide or gain and we therefore find such statements mind boggling,” he further stated.

Mr. Sattaur said that efforts to contact Police Commissioner Mr. Seelall Persaud to have the statements retracted proved futile. “As a member of the Task Force on Narcotic Drugs and Illicit Weapons, I am surprised that the police would seek to impugn the integrity of GRA officials who risked their lives daily to crack down on the illegal trade of criminals,” he said.

The GRA has always enjoyed amicable relations with the police given that the organisation has a mandate to enforce the laws it administers, and such attempts to mar the organisation’s image threatens to undermine the cordial relations that currently exists.

Further, despite the fact that GRA issued a press release, inewsguyana erroneously reported that “the men drove away with the bus loads of chicken,” when the GRA clearly stated that the buses with the smuggled items were seized. Inewsguyana should make corrections to their report.

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