Customs investigates container with undeclared items

Government has sought to clear the air on a container that arrived in the country from Sweden with donated items from Grenadian Chester Simon.

Customs officials seized the container on the grounds that a false declaration was made by Simon.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Simon was in close contact with the Ministry of Health on a number of items that were shipped for the ministry with the container.

It was also reported that the container also had inside it items for a number of charitable organisations in the country.

The official government release pointed out that a number of items in the container were not declared to Customs.

Following is the full text of the release:

It has come to the attention of the Division of Customs and Excise, Ministry of Finance and Energy, that the importation of a container, including items donated to the Ministry of Health, by a Grenadian living abroad, has been the subject of public speculation over the past few weeks.

The container in question was originally declared as a donation to the Ministry of Health. On that basis, the Customs released the Container to the Ministry of Health.

On examination of the container, it was discovered that there were other items which did not concern the Ministry of Health. In short, a false declaration was initially made.

Based on the findings of the initial investigation by the Customs, the items for the Ministry of Health were released to the Ministry of Health.

The Division of Customs and Excise then seized the container for a full and thorough investigation to ascertain the duties and taxes for the other items in the container which were undeclared and for which duties and taxes are payable.

The Division of Customs and Excise views false declarations as a very serious matter. Under the Customs Act, the Comptroller of Customs can seize all undeclared goods and issue a fine of up to five (5) times, the applicable duties and taxes.

Customs officials are in the process of investigating the remaining undeclared items, and will soon submit final report to the Comptroller, who will make a determination as to the way forward.

The Government of Grenada welcomes all appropriate donations, especially in the Health Sector, but will strongly resist any attempt to defraud the Government of much-needed revenue.

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