Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan recently told Guyana Standard that he intends to crack down on strip clubs in Guyana as he finds it to be an unhealthy form of entertainment. On top of that, he bemoaned the fact that it provides a platform for prostitution and insisted that he intends to “cut the profits” out of the trade.
In this regard, the Minister said that he is working with the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) to ensure that it revokes the liquor licenses granted to these adult entertainment spots.
But, when asked to provide clarity about this exercise, GRA said that it is unaware of any such arrangement. Be that as it may, the Authority said it continues to monitor businesses for unlicensed activity, and in fact, has either closed down or fined those that sell liquor without the requisite licence.
Further, it advised that many of these clubs operate without a liquor licence. “Hence, it is the Minister who must call on the Guyana Police Force to raid such entities and demand closure where necessary,” GRA stated.
GRA stated too that revocation of the licences will not stamp out prostitution which also brings in profits for these nightspots.
The Authority said, too, that there are a number of other agencies which are part of the process for such businesses to be up and running. These include the Guyana Fire Service, the Mayor and City Council, the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CHPA), and the Guyana Police Force. On this note, the tax authority said that stamping out the illegal activity of prostitution where these clubs are concerned requires the collaborative efforts of these entities.
GRA also noted that while its role is to collect the taxes, it does not grant the licenses until the requirements of all agencies are met.