GRA officers shot while attempting to intercept smuggled items

Last Updated on Friday, 8 June 2018, 22:39 by Denis Chabrol

The Headquarters of the Guyana Revenue Authority.

Two of three officers of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) were shot and injured while preparing to intercept a car with smuggled chicken and alcoholic beverages, the agency said.

The GRA did not say how serious were the injuries and whether anyone was hospitalised. Police have been called in and  the Authority said several persons have been arrested.

A number of persons were said to have been arrested in connection with the incident that occurred on Thursday , June 7, 2018 at about 9 PM at Bee Hive, East Coast Demerara.

“During the exercise, the Officers observed a white Toyota motor car turning into the street and stopping in front the house that was under surveillance. The occupants of the motor vehicle exited and proceeded to maliciously shoot at the LEID Officers with an undisclosed number and caliber of firearms. LEID Officers were forced to take evasive action and defensively returned fire in the general direction of the perpetrators with their GRA issued firearms.

The Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) officers were hoping to intercept a motor vessel and motor vehicles suspected to have been transporting the smuggled items. After the exchange of gunfire, the suspects fled the scene and left behind two injured GRA officers. “The perpetrators then retreated to their motor vehicle and sped away, which allowed LEID Officers to regroup and exit the location safely. It was then realized that two of the officers sustained injuries with what appeared to be shotgun pellet wounds to their arms and leg.

The GRA said despite the constant threat to LEID officers’ lives, they “continue to fearlessly execute their duty in an effort to safeguard the country’s revenue and curb the scourge of smuggling. The tax agency appealed to the public to provide information about smugglers. “The Authority is enlisting the cooperation of the general public in providing information and assistance in apprehending persons involved in these illegal activities.”