$34M approved for GRA scanning equipment

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) stands to benefit from $34 million worth of new container scanners, which will be placed at wharves, particularly to assist in drug detection, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

Cabinet on Tuesday granted its no objection to the sum.

Asked at a post-cabinet press briefing what the scanners would be used for, Harmon said that from the documents seen, the scanners are for use at the wharves where good and services traverse. “In fact… for the [amount] of container traffic we have in this country, these scanners are critical,” he said.

“Because, in very many cases… we find that goods and services and sometimes equipment, sometimes products that are not produced in Guyana but pass through Guyana end up in other ports. The absence of a scanner, I believe, has really allowed for that sort of lawlessness to continue and we really have to put a stop to that… We have to really take serious steps to address our county’s image as a drugs transshipment point. We have to work assiduously to correct that and so this is a part of that process,” he added.

Asked if the scanners that will be procured are bigger than present one, which was not working, he said he was unsure if it was indeed not working but knew that there was an issue with the facility for the equipment.

He explained that the use of the equipment required the container to have a ‘turnaround’ and this resulted in issues. He said that some time back the National Park was used to facilitate this but it was a “disaster” because the tarmac was badly damaged. The use of the scanner, in many cases, was curtailed because of the absence of a “home” for the scanner and this was something government is working on now, he added.

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