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Gov’t aggressively cracking down on ‘gold smuggling’ – Jagdeo

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The government is taking strong action against “gold smugglers” in light of a noticeable decrease in gold declarations to the Guyana Gold Board (GGB). 

The law enforcement arm of the government is cracking down on those who are avoiding taxes through gold smuggling.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo expressed the government’s concerns during a press conference at the Office of the President on Thursday, where he reminded reporters that this issue was being monitored for some time.

“We believe that people are not selling to the gold board to avoid taxes and we believe at that at that time that it was organised and that it was having an impact,” he explained.

He continued, “Many of the legitimate dealers were saying to us that people were offered rates beyond what the market can sustain, even beyond what the international market was. And, clearly, there was demand for the gold, not for other purposes.”

Following a comprehensive investigation, Dr Jagdeo informed reporters that there is enough evidence to pursue those evading taxes. 

He warned that the government is aware of key players engaging in this and cautioned them about serious consequences if they continue. The vice president also voiced his intention to advocate for tougher penalties for those involved in such activities.

Recently, three individuals were apprehended at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) trying to smuggle more than US$500,000 of gold out of the country. According to Dr Jagdeo, this is just the beginning, as law enforcement agencies have been working assiduously to understand the intelligence of those involved.

“I just want to tell you that a lot of work has been done by the law enforcement agencies to understand the intelligence work of the people involved.  And they’re going to face the consequences,” he stressed.

In 2023, Dr Jagdeo voiced similar sentiments, emphasising that once persons are caught, they would face serious consequences.

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