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Berbice Anti Smuggling Squad disbanded

The headquarters of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), Camp Street, Georgetown.

The Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) on Friday announced that it was scrapping the 15-year old Berbice Anti Smuggling Squad (BASS) because it has been raking in little reveenue in recent times.

The tax agency said the decision was taken after careful consideration and that sacked workers would receive full benefits. “An examination of the effectiveness of BASS revealed that the unit was performing below expectation, with a rapid decrease in revenue collection over the period 2012-2015, and as such, it was deemed not feasible to continue operations,” said the GRA in a statement.

Based on that, and the closeness in nature of BASS’ operations with that of the GRA’s Law Enforcement & Investigations Division (LEID), the agency said a decision was made to fully integrate BASS’ operations into the Regional Operations of LEID. 

BASS was established in November 2000 with the objective of curbing smuggling activities within the Corentyne/ Berbice area. 

The GRA noted that prior to the implementation of BASS in 2000, LEID was responsible for the function performed by BASS.  These functions included the patrolling of waterways and roadways to suppress smuggling activities. 

According the GRA, persons currently employed in the BASS Unit will be paid their full benefits owed to them once the Unit is disbanded.