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“High tech” vehicular scanner to combat smuggling

Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority Khurshid Sattaur receives the Acceptance Certificate for the procurement of a vehicular mobile container scanner from Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh (GINA photo)

Equipped with an “extremely high-tech” vehicular mobile shipping container scanner, imports and exports can now be checked at most locations to find un-customed goods, guns, explosives and drugs, a top Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) official said.

The agreement for the donation of the scanner was signed Friday by Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh and China’s Ambassador to Guyana, Zhang Limin .

GRA Commissioner General, Kurshid Sattaur, who accompanied several other senior officials, later told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) that the mobile container scanner would help make the tax agency more accountable by targeting businessmen.

“The container scanner would in my view serve to boost the image of the GRA to make it a more transparent and accountable organisation and, therefore, the businessmen would have to be more careful what they do because I would expose them,” he said.

Sattaur said the sophisticated container scanner would help the GRA speedily process exports and imports.

Initially, he said the scanner would be used frequently until business owners realise that it would now be harder to beat the system. “In our country, we might have to use it to a high degree initially and then later on as businessmen realise it’s not going to be an easy tool to defeat its purpose and its usefulness…,” he said.

The scanner is valued at US$98,640.

Sources said scanner meets international radiation safety standards and produces an excellent image quality as a result of its high penetration. The scanner, which can adjust to the size of most types of shipping containers, can wirelessly exchange data to facilitate keener inspection. The container can scan one process at least 20 units per hour.

China would be providing training and maintenance to Guyanese personnel.

China also agreed to provide US$4.93 M) to finance projects to be agreed upon by both governments.