The Law Enforcement and Investigations Division (LEID) of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Wednesday instituted 10 charges in the Georgetown Magistrate’s Court against Ramps Logistics (Guyana) Inc. for false declarations.
Investigations determined, among others, that during the period of 2021 to 2022, Ramps made several untrue declarations to the revenue authority. It said the move to the courts is in keeping with its mandate to ensure there is a ‘level playing field’ for legitimate businesses and the collection of revenue.
GRA also called for individuals/companies involved in any such illicit activities to cease and desist therefrom and bring their businesses into compliance with the nation’s Tax, Trade and Border laws.
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The Authority’s records also show that the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division has also been probing Ramps Logistics Guyana for abusing blanket tax waivers granted for the importation of goods to be used by Stabroek Block operator, Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL), and its subcontractors.
A report by the division cited a case on December 13, 2019, when it checked a shipment of goods consigned to EEPGL and Ramps Logistics Incorporated was listed as the declarant.
The LEID report reads, “The said declaration was deemed false since the quantity of the goods declared was inconsistent with the information stated on the invoice.
The said act constituted a breach of Sections 217 (1) (a) and 219 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01, respectively. In the said matter, the Commissioner General (Godfrey Statia) in accordance with Section 271 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01, invoked his discretionary power and waived the proposed compensation of $500,000 for the acts committed.”
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The report further noted that the Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia also directed that the company be advised that should there be a recurrence of this nature, strict penalties would be imposed.
Ramps was also a few months ago, fined $20 million for shipping items out of Guyana to Trinidad without having the vessel used, properly inspected. Ramps Logistics subsequently informed local media that it has been able to reach an amicable settlement with the tax body.
The company has also taken the Guyana Government to court for its denial of a Local Content Certificate. The company has since lamented the fact that the refusal to issue the document has held up multi-million-dollar projects and has left the livelihoods of scores of locals on its payroll, hanging in the proverbial balance.