When it comes to the recently uncovered forged driver’s licence and registration racket, officers at the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) were not acting in isolation. They had strong connections with links at several local banks.
GRA’s Commissioner General, Godfrey Statia, was able to confirm this a few moments ago with the Guyana Standard.
Statia said that while he is not able to reveal the full details of the matter, he can confirm that several of his officers are now willing to provide information on how the racket started and the key players behind it. He said that others have been sent home to support the smooth flow of the investigation.
Further to this, the tax chief said that since last year, the banking sector had indicated to the revenue body that it had found a few instances where persons were using fake registrations and driver’s licences to get access to loans. Statia noted however that when “we combed through the system, we did not find anything.” The tax chief said that the local banks quietly dealt with the matter and sent home the individuals who were involved in the unscrupulous activities.
The GRA Commissioner General said, “But when we thought the matter was over last year, it was not. Is like you cut off the head of the beast at one end (in the banking sector) and before you know it, it grow back but this time is bigger. These people (GRA officials and banking officers) were able to get their hands on a very sophisticated machine that is able to produce hundreds of fake licences, registrations and certificates of compliance at a time. We were losing millions of dollars and the banks too.”
The GRA Commissioner General said that a thorough investigation will be done and the culprits made to face the court.
Statia sought to remind taxpayers that all financial transactions should be conducted by the cashiers and an official GRA receipt should be issued for all monies paid. He said that the revenue authority will continue to work to improve its systems to minimize illegal activity and ensure that integrity and transparency are the hallmark of the agency.