Guyana: Ex-Venezuelan diplomat Land Rover seized

(NEWS ROOM GUYANA) — More than a week after seizing the car of a Venezuelan Diplomat, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) has made it clear that Luz León Guillén has to pay $2.4M in prorated taxes and that she must have it privately registered.

News Room first reported on October 28, 2018 that Luz, who worked as a First Secretary and a Counselor at the Venezuelan Embassy in Guyana for some three years, had her 2003 Land Rover bearing the diplomatic plates, confiscated by the Enforcement Unit of the GRA while she was at the Georgetown Public Hospital on October 25.

The GRA, in its Saturday night statement, explained that the tax entity received correspondence from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with an attached letter from the Venezuelan Embassy, stating that the tour of the Diplomat ended in November 2017, and requested that the diplomatic licence plate DPL-6-04 registered to the Venezuelan Embassy be withdrawn and be put out of circulation.

According to GRA, its officers executed their duties 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.

“At no time was the former First secretary treated with disrespect,” GRA claimed.

The statement further noted that when the matter was brought to the attention of the Commissioner-General of the GRA, Godfrey Statia, discretion was exercised to allow for the vehicle to be utilized by the Diplomat, provided that she takes the necessary steps to have it 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.