Georgetown, Sunday, November 4, 2018: The GRA wishes to respond to the Newsroom article of October 28, 2018 under the subject of “GRA seizes vehicle of Venezuelan Diplomat”, on the grounds that she owes approximately 2.4M in taxes, and to several telephone requests from new agencies seeking explanations as to the basis of the tax due.
On Thursday, October 25, 2018, the GRA received a correspondence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an attached letter from the Venezuelan Embassy, stating that the tour of Mrs. Luz Anandha Isaray Leon Guillen, former First Secretary of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, ended in November 2017, and requesting that the diplomatic licence plate DPL-6-04 registered to the Venezuelan Embassy be withdrawn and be put out of circulation.
Acting thereon, the Law Enforcement and Investigation Division (LEID) of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) intercepted the motor vehicle bearing the said diplomatic plate and advised the said former first Secretary that in accordance with the provisions of Article 34 and Article 39 of the Privileges and Immunities (Diplomatic Consular and International Organisations) Act, Chapter 18:01 respectively, that prorated taxes of 2.4M must be paid and the vehicle privately registered or until then, the vehicle cannot be driven under the said withdrawn diplomatic plate.
At no time was the former First secretary treated with disrespect. Matter of fact, when the matter was brought to the attention of the Commissioner General, discretion was exercised to allow for the motor vehicle to be utilized by her provided that she takes the necessary steps to have same registered with an ordinary registration number and any outstanding pro-rated Excise tax paid on or before December 1, 2018, (the date of her purported return ticket) should the motor vehicle be sold or remain in the jurisdiction after that date. In the alternative, no tax will be payable should the vehicle be exported. The Guyana Revenue Authority has advised her of the said offer which to date she has failed to take up.