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Statement by Minister of State, Hon. Joseph Harmon on request for delay of action against Bai Shan Lin by GRA

Following is a statement issued by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on his intervention in the halting of the seizure of Baishan Lin’s vehicles by the Guyana Revenue Authority.


Over the past weeks, several reports in the media conveyed the erroneous impression that I had used my official Government position to interfere in the work of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).  Reports alleged also that there were corrupt dealings with the Company involved in the intended actions by the GRA.

I refrained from making a public response to those reports earlier because my actions were linked to Guyana’s diplomatic relations and its pursuit of foreign investment that would be beneficial to the people of Guyana.

The Cabinet has now been fully briefed on this and other matters, currently in the public domain and it has been agreed that I make a public statement on this and other matters.

On Thursday March 17, 2016 representation was made to me by an official of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Guyana on an urgent matter affecting one of their national’s company operations in Guyana.  I was advised that personnel of the GRA had gone to the premises of Bai Shan Lin in furtherance of a Tax demand by the GRA of G$1.5 billion dollars.

The GRA personnel were intent on seizing movable assets of the Company.  The Chinese official explained that the principals of the Company were not in Guyana and requested a stay of execution of the GRA’s action for 14 days pending the return of those principals, at which time they would go into the GRA to settle their indebtedness.  The Embassy officials also gave the assurance that none of the assets of the Company would be removed, during that grace period.

Considering the importance of Guyana/China relations and the urgency of the matter, I made contact with the GRA and requested the facility.  This request was granted. At the expiration of the 14 days requested, the GRA proceeded with its work.

  • Emile_Mervin

    This is the statement Granger promised that Harmon would release? Where is the statement on the China trip? Did Granger raise our expectations only to disappoint?

    The coalition reminds us of the PPP, in that government officials report to Cabinet and hide facts and figures from the people under the guise that Cabinet members should not divulge matters discussed by the Cabinet.

    “The Cabinet has now been fully briefed on this and other matters, now in the public domain…”

    Truth is, we, the public, don’t know what Cabinet knows, and while the AFC remained the only hope of keeping the coalition transparent and accountable, it has been silent on secret deals, lame excuses and explanations being the order of the day.

    • SYL

      Once I have the cheese and you need it , you have to come to me.

      St up a meeting with the stake holders of the Chinese companies in GT.Let them come , they have the money and they really need to find jobs for their people, so the reason for them to be persistent in conducting business all over the world. The guys of the coalition want to enjoy the travels , that’s all and cut other deals under the table.

  • Col123

    That Peking duck is over rated….now it starts to quack,waddle…and laying eggs…

    • Emile_Mervin

      Granger has failed to demonstrate leadership throughout this debacle, for whereas we blame Harmon for creating this mess, we now have to shift the blame to Granger for allowing it to fester unresolved for two weeks. Obviously, the gist of this statement and the one published by Stabroek News left a lot of questions unanswered.

      Granger did say Harmon traveled to China to resolve the unpaid balance on GT&T shares bought by a Chinese company. The Chinese told him the money was paid, but nobody knows when it was paid and who received it or where it is.

      Now we have Harmon talking about the trip being about Chinese investors in Guyana.

      Is Granger lying? Is Harmon lying? Some may now argue it was better to let the PPP remain on power; after all, we knew what we were getting, as opposed to advocates of change who turned out to be agents of an exchange.

  • Kaieteur_Canada

    Such boolsheet, this wishy washy thing he calls a statement… whats the story about the $5 mil USD for the GT&T shares we understand was already paid and no record of it.

  • Col123

    The guy has every right to pee against the wind!

  • harp197

    That’s a set of dotishness. The Chinese Embassy is aware of the protocol that should be followed in such instances hence their approach to the Minister Harmon is very unusual. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is at all times the agency that is the intermediary; not the MOTP. A simple note verbale from the Ambassador to the MOFA would have eased all the intrigue.

  • gtnoel

    Something deeper than the eye could see appears to be happening. Yea, you too view us all as a pack of idiots.