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Seizure of Uncustomed Goods during Joint Enforcement Operation in Lethem, Region 9

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Seizure of Uncustomed Goods during Joint Enforcement Operation in Lethem, Region 9

April 17, 2021

The Revenue Authority noting the various reports circulating in the print and social media concerning a seizure of a quantity of uncustomed goods during a joint operation in Lethem, Region, 9 wishes to set the record straight, and hereby advise the general public that at all times, lawful procedures were properly executed.

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, a team of officers attached to the Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) while performing duties at the Lethem Multi-Purpose Complex observed a Brazilian registered Cargo truck illegally exiting the location without the requisite examination being conducted by the Proper Officers. This action prompted suspicions about the contents therein, and as a consequence thereof, the team of Officers followed the consignment to the premises where a joint search was conducted by CANU and officers of the Revenue Authority.

The officers properly identified themselves, as is standard operating procedure, and stated the purpose of the visit. They were however met with acts of aggression, insults and hostility by persons within the said premises who denied the team of officers from gaining access to the premises, as is required by law. After a brief stand-off, the team of officers finally gained entry to the premises where they were met with further acts including aggression and ferocious dogs.

Despite several requests for the ferocious dogs to be secured, these were aggressively denied. The dogs were however secured based on more intense approach taken by the officers, and thereafter, the premises was searched in accordance with Section 209 of the Customs Act, Chapter 82:01, which led to a large quantity of uncustomed items being found concealed. This allowed for the individual who subsequently claimed ownership being cautioned and arrested, and placed on station bail. The investigation continues.

The GRA would like to again remind persons involved in smuggled and unlawful activities that the Authority will continue to maintain a “zero tolerance approach” to such activities in accordance with the laws administered by the Authority.

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