Berbicians fined over illegal fuel

Two Berbice residents last Monday pleaded guilty to illegally transporting fuel and were fined $400,000 bringing the matter which has been before the court since 2007 to a conclusion.

Lendrick Ramdowar and Steve Ramdowar, both of Bath Settlement, Berbice where charged with transporting petroleum in bulk quantity without the requisite licence contrary to the Petroleum and Petroleum Products Regulations enacted under the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA) Act.

The GEA, in a press release, while pointing out that this is the second conviction for this month for a licensing offence, said the agency continues to reinforce its commitment to “stamp out the commission of offences under its legislation through robust enforcement”.

It was explained that the two defendants had been intercepted and jointly charged in 2007 but due to “procedural constraints” the matter was aborted on two prior occasions. The defendants, it was stated, had initially pleaded not guilty, but charged their pleas during Monday’s appearance before Magistrate Adela Nagamootoo at the New Amsterdam Magistrate’s Court.

The release said the GEA was represented by Special Prosecutor Jaya Singh who assumed control of the case after the migration of the previous special prosecutor, Donelle Harding-Hawke.

It was noted that the convictions demonstrated “the seriousness with which the agency is responding to disregard for its regulatory framework”.

Describing this latest conviction as a feather in its cap, the agency said there was continuous perseverance and unwavering commitment to curbing fuel smuggling and intolerance for the contravention of the laws over the years.

The GEA also used the opportunity to thank those who have been cooperating with the licensing process and reminded all licence holders to renew their documents before midnight on April 30 to avoid prosecution.

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