Archive for Guyana
The South American country of Guyana says it is investigating allegations that the Chinese embassy has been using its diplomatic status to bring in tax-free goods from China and distribute them to local merchants. Guyana Revenue Commissioner Godfrey Statia told The Associated Press on Friday that customs officers reported the embassy had been receiving unusually large shipments. Shipments tied to a diplomatic mission are not fully searched. Statia said there’s a big difference in prices in items being sold by Chinese-owned stores compared with the Guyanese ones. The Chinese embassy called the allegations baseless and said it reserves the right to take legal action.
A Brazilian vice consul has died following a car crash in the South American country of Guyana. Police say Theotonio Santa Cruz Oliveira died Saturday following a head-on crash in the southwest border town of Lethem on a main highway leading to Brazil. Police said two other people from Guyana involved in the crash were hospitalized with serious injuries. Authorities say they do not yet know what caused the crash. They said Oliveira died after being taken to a hospital in neighboring Brazil.
The U.S. Embassy in Guyana warned Sunday that it had received “unconfirmed threat information” about a regional airline’s flights from the South American country to the United States on Monday and urged Americans to avoid using the carrier. The terse message about flights of Caribbean Airlines was unusual for being so specific about a potential threat. It was posted Sunday on the embassy’s website. It advised all U.S. citizens in Guyana to make alternate travel arrangements through Wednesday if they were planning on traveling home on flights with Caribbean Airlines. In 2007, a former member of Guyana’s parliament and a naturalized U.S. citizen from Guyana were among four people convicted of participating in a failed plot by a small group of militant Muslims to firebomb John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
A State Department officer has been accused of selling visas for sex and money in what may have been a massive human trafficking operation. The State Department acknowledged that one of its officials is the target of a probe over “allegations of improprieties relating to a Consular Officer formerly assigned to Georgetown, Guyana” without providing further details. Local media are also claiming the official, who was recently withdrawn from normal duties pending completion of an official investigation, associated with drug lords as part of his visa scam. The scandal began when executives and tourists complained that their visa applications were being held up, and local media began reporting that a visa official was demanding bribes and sex in exchange for visas. The Daily Caller has identified the suspect as Edy Zohar Rodrigues Duran, formerly of Mission, Texas, and currently living in Falls Church, Virginia. Duran was removed from his post at the Guyanese capital of Georgetown in June of this year, months short of his scheduled September 2013 departure date, according to Mark A. Benschop and Julia Johnson, two Guyanese journalists who spoke with TheDC from Guyana.