GRA scrutinising enforcement unit in wake of narcotics charge against officer

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) is presently conducting investigations to ascertain if any members of its Drug Enforcement Unit (DEU) are involved in the trafficking of narcotics, Commissioner General Godfrey Statia told Stabroek News yesterday.

On Wednesday, DEU agent, Sherwayne De Abreu was along with three others charged with the possession of 84.9 kilos of cocaine for the purpose of trafficking.

Sherwayne De Abreu

Though he maintained that the officer remains innocent until found guilty in a court of law, Statia said that investigations have already begun to ascertain whether any other person has been ensnared in similar allegations. He stressed that the agency is prepared to take the necessary action including passing over the case to the police should information surface about corruption in the unit.

“There is corruption at all levels of the country and in the GRA. I have said so on more than one occasion, and that GRA will not tolerate any type of corruption,” Statia declared.

De Abreu, 35, of Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara was charged with motorcycle racer Stephen Vieira, 33, of Middle and Cummings Sts, Georgetown and motor-racers, Tazim Gafoor, 45, and his son, Nazim Gafoor, 20, of Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara. They are scheduled to return to court on June 12 for disclosure of statements and fixture for trial.

The cocaine, which carried a street value of over $550M, was reportedly stashed in dressed lumber at a sawmill at Lookout, East Bank Essequibo, belonging to Narine Lall for whom a warrant has been issued.

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