Friday, May 20, 2022
Friday, May 20, 2022
HomeOPINIONCORRUPTION AND COLLUSION IN THE CUSTOMS?

CORRUPTION AND COLLUSION IN THE CUSTOMS?

Have you ever wondered how some businessmen are able to increase to have 5 to 7 stores in a period of about 5 to 10 years; while others can hardly meet their monthly overheads? 

Word out is that there is a particular Syrian businessman who has been presenting false invoices to the Customs for several years and these invoices have been reduced up to eighty percent of the cost of goods. 

Let me give an example. If this Syrian businessman bought goods for $100,000.00 he would declare to Customs $20,000.00-50,000.00. 

It is alleged that large sums of monies have been paid to a key and very high ranking Customs official within the management and other key areas of operations; such as the  Transit Shed especially Campden Park and Valuation, to facilitate the movement and valuation of container shipments and vehicles for this businessman. 

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This businessman is known to have several stores that carry the name of a lady. It is also alleged that he encourages his allies, other Syrian businessmen, to practice the same principles of cutting invoices or false invoicing and to bribe customs officials, of which some do like his cousin who has 3 to 4 stores. 

This unlawful practice by some of these Syrian businessmen is causing the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars each year and is also having a great negative impact on honest businessmen who are struggling to keep their businesses open. 

It is said that this same business man has recently acquired a popular beauty store in SVG, which was previously owned and managed by other corrupt Syrian businessmen. This was able to be done due to the savings gained from being able to get assistance at the Customs. 

Imagine working hard and honestly to follow customs laws and having to pay duties on 100% worth of goods while this dishonest businessman is assisted by certain customs officials and would only pay duties on 20-50% instead. 


How would you feel personally? How would the Government feel? How would tax-payers feel? 

Something needs to be done quickly otherwise this businessman will continue to exploit the Customs, the citizens and the Government. In addition, honest Syrian and non-Syrian businessmen will be forced to engage in the same corrupt practices just to compete otherwise they will have to close their doors. 

We speak of reparations. Here we have a foreign businessman who has no love for this country he has adopted and has sought to rape it to get rich while hardworking and honest people struggle daily.  Where is the Financial Intelligence Unit, where is Income Tax, where is the Customs? 

They all can’t be in his pocket, can they?

A law abiding and fed-up businessman

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