Criminal Syndicate, Others Hinder Revenue Collection

first_imgOfficials of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA) have disclosed that criminal syndicate organized by Liberians is impeding lawful revenue collection in the country.The two officials, including Samson M. Doe, Manager of Sector Ministry Section on Domestic Tax, and Saa Saamoi, Commissioner of Customs both made the disclosure during a media engagement organized by LRA yesterday, February 23.Mr. Doe told journalists that LRA, in conjunction with the Liberia National Police (LNP) is conducting an investigation into a syndicate involving a top-level police officer (not named) and a man purporting to be an official of the Ministry of Transport.The two men, Doe said, were caught selling license plates and receiving cash. The situation was brought to the attentions of Police Inspector General, Gregory Coleman and other top officials of the National Security Agency.He said as they carry on government’s mandate in enforcing the tax law to collect lawful revenues, they realize that there are many unscrupulous Liberians who want to intentionally harm the economy by increasing the size of the pockets.He noted that the situation is on the rise, and for that they are planning trips for Ganta, Gbarnga and Kakata to create the awareness and ensure that risks associated with collection of revenues be fully mitigated.Customs Commissioner Saa Saamoi also disclosed that Liberians are engaged in stealing vehicles in the United States and sending them to Liberia which, according to him, gives the county a bad image.According to him, a case of 32 stolen vehicles imported to Liberia is under investigation, noting, “Beyond that, they make false declaration and evade taxes thereby denying government of the fair taxes that should be paid.In another instance, LRA Commissioner General, Elfrieda Stewart-Tamba, while presenting on the general budget outlook of Liberia, disclosed that many Liberian importers are engaged in false declaration and usually identify goods as “Assorted goods,” something she said is not considered under tax law.She said goods have to be fairly declared and must contain only homogenous goods, not mixed and named ‘assorted’ as many claim.Commissioner Tamba said when a particular parcel of goods is opened; it would contain mixed goods that should be declared separately and taxes paid on each.She even noted an instance where a woman provided a false invoice from China, misspelling the name of a company in various ways as “Taunue, Taanue, Tannue,” etc., to outsmart the tax administration. Budget Outlook:During her presentation, CG Tamba underscored that of the US$600 million proposed budget to be collected, $307.6 million has been collected with $292 remaining to be collected.She said of the total budget, Domestic Revenue accounts for $279 million that is to be collected between now and June and $5 million expected to come from external resources.Of this amount, $17.2 million has been collected and it came from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) augmentation, and remaining to be collected is $4.9 million.In her breakdown about contributions of Detail to Domestic Tax, CG Tamba said the total contribution of 73.8 million is projected, which accounts for 52%.Categorizing the sectors, she said Small Medium & Micro Tax Division accounts for $28.5 million; Natural Resource sector, 22.7 million; Real Estate, $1.7 million; Rural Domestic Tax, $1.2 million; and Sector Ministries, $13.48 million.She disclosed that, up to January 31, 2017, 45% of the total budget had been achieved and that Customs in total has collected $102 million, which constitutes 53%, with $114 million still outstanding to be collected. Of the $206 million that international trade is to bring into the budget, she said $96 million has been collected with $110 million still outstanding.The Freeport of Monrovia, Commissioner Tamba said, has an approved budget of $160 million and LRA has collected $72 million, $88 million outstanding.The Liberia Petroleum Refining Company (LPRC) has $38 million to contribute; of which $20 million has been collected, with $8 million outstanding.Nimba Dominates Customs Revenue IntakeCommissioner General Tamba in her breakdown emphatically acknowledged that two ports of entry in Nimba County are noted for bringing in huge revenue to the budget in the rural areas.According to her, Ganta Port of Entry which is the highest among rural ports has brought in US$306 million followed by Loguatuo in the northeast, where US$252 million was collected in revenue.The Ganta Port of Entry facing Guinea is flooded by merchants carrying goods on Lorries and other mini trucks on a daily basis.Local businesspeople from Ganta usually cross over into Dieké and N’Zérékoré, Guinea, while others engaged in large businesses go as far as Conakry to purchase goods to bring to Liberia.Loguatuo is eastward and is the crossing point between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire in that part of Nimba. Almost like Ganta, the hugely concentrated population in upper Nimba flood there to buy industrial goods and agricultural produce from Cote d’Ivoire to bring to Liberia for sale and consumption.Also as part of the Cocoa belt, Lorries from Cote d’Ivoire cross into to Liberia to purchase cocoa beans while at the same time others are bringing goods to Liberia.The only impediment to trade through this route is the bad road which, especially during the rainy season, hinders the movements of vehicles.Commissioner Tamba however named other lucrative areas for revenue collections through Customs in rural Liberia, including as Yula and Juah Ports of Entry in Bong County. She said the Port of Buchanan has for now contributed $1.5 million to the collection and still has $8.5 million. The Ministry of Lands & Mines is to contribute $4.2 million under this category because of its dealing in gold and diamond.Rural Custom has an approved budget of $3.2 million to contribute in the national budget.Commissioner Tamba, however, noted in her presentation that the depreciating rate of the Liberian dollar is adversely affecting revenue performance because of the trickle-down effect from trade.She said tax collection is enhanced when trade boosts, but as the case stands with increasing rate of the US dollar to that of the Liberian dollar, trade is negatively impacted and it is also affecting revenue collection.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Inconnu Swim Club ready for first international swim meet

first_imgJason Brockman is one of the coaches for the Inconnu Swim Club. He says taking part in the meet is a great way for swimmers to see how they stack up against new competition, and is also the last for outgoing coach Steve Sadownik.“The exposure to different competition is a great opportunity, so I’m very happy for them” Brockman says. “Steve Sadownik, he’s the head coach, it’s his send off and his way of celebrating all the hard work over the past couple years. He’s taking the athletes down there and to see them showcase their level of commitment and talent.”Brockman adds that he is very excited for the athletes taking part in the meet. Among those representing the Inconnu Swim Club are Skyeler Kerr, Ben Blackmon, Chelsea Kerr, Rebekah Albu, Emma Murdock, Brittany Welsh, and Chris Amstutz.- Advertisement -The annual event attracts over 1,700 swimmers, with notables such as Michael Phelps having once taken part. The meet runs from July 31 until August 4.last_img read more

Public Security Minister admits Police abuse sirens

first_img…no concrete plans for crime fightIn the wake of the horrific accident on East Bank Demerara (EBD) that claimed the lives of five persons, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has admitted that indeed, there are Police Officers who abuse the sirens on their vehicles and present a danger to other road users.Public Security Minister Khemraj RamjattanRamjattan made this admission during an interview on State radio. When asked what he was doing about these ranks, he noted that there are rogue personnel that they are making efforts to weed out.“To avoid these accidents that cause so much loss of limb, life and damage to property and the trauma of it, requires passengers speaking to drivers, telling them you’re doing something wrong, please stop it or put me out of the vehicle”.“That Policeman that was driving very fast on Friendship (Public Road) a couple days ago, that caused the loss of five lives, obviously he was very reckless. You’ve been begging the Police leadership to also talk to these fellas and still. They use their sirens; they abuse their sirens”.Ramjattan was asked what is being done to curb this abuse. As an example, he noted that there are problems with implementing surcharges on Police Officers in cases when they damage the Force’s vehicles. He noted that for humanitarian reasons, h06 money from officers for wrecking Government property.“Information (from public) is acted upon, but still we have, I don’t know if you’d want to call them, rogue elements who still go out and do it. I remember, the first time after getting the first set of Chinese vehicles, about 59 vehicles, the next day one crashed because of the reckless driving”.“I had indicated when we did the launch that any driver found recklessly driving and causing accidents, they will have to pay a penalty coming out of their salary for the repairs to the vehicle. And the next day after (we were going to fine him), his wife and four children came in and said if we deduct from the salary, these children will starve. What do you as a Minister do? Take the money and starve the children?”Five persons lost their lives last week, when a taxi and a speeding Police car, driven by Presidential Guard Ronnel Barker, collided head-on. From all indications, the Police car had its siren blaring and was travelling at a fast rate of speed.As such, the civilian motorcar was seen coming to a halt when the two vehicles collided head-on. In the wake of the accident, which left Barker and four other persons dead, President David Granger had ordered a Commission of Inquiry (CoI).No concrete crime fighting planWhen it comes to crime fighting, the Minister shied away from taking responsibility but rather claimed that the public has to secure itself and be more alert. From the Police end, he noted that they have to beef up patrols.“It requires lots more patrols by our Policemen. It requires members of the public being alert. They have to be far more alert. And take a look at the back and find out who’s following them. If they go out, try to go out in groups. That’s what the Police will generally tell you. And that’s what is needed to secure yourself”.Ramjattan made mention of the recent Police operation, where touts and members of bicycle gangs were arrested in the vicinity of Stabroek market. He noted that many of them were arrested either through tips from members of the public or by facial recognition from the Closed Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras set up around the city.“We are going to, in a way, beef up the Police patrols all over the place. We have utilised our video cameras at the command centre at Liliendaal to check on a number of these bicycle and motorcycle guys, for a period of days and then we went in and, having identified them, ensured that we arrested them, and arrests have been made, about 39”.“So we’re getting the information through the video cameras. And persons have been calling in to say who and who, at the Stabroek market, have been doing their mischief and we have been arresting them,” Ramjattan said.last_img read more

Man operating online drugs operation caught by vigilant Gardai

first_imgA man operating a drugs business selling thousands of euro of cannabis on social media has been caught by eagle-eyed Gardai.Shane Valentine appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with having drugs for sale and supply. Garda Derek Connaughton was monitoring social media and saw a posting by Valentine, aged 23, selling drugs.When Gardai raided his home at Glenaughty Close in Letterkenny on July 19th, 2017, they found more than €7,500 of cannabis hidden in a false compartment in a tumble dryer.A further search of the house uncovered a further €960 in cash, a weighing scales and two mature cannabis plants worth a further €1,600.Valentine, who is originally from Dublin, has a total of 26 previous convictions for a range of offences including assault, robbery and criminal damage.He previously pleaded guilty to using a stolen credit card which was used to buy more than €185 worth of pizza at Dominos Pizza in Letterkenny on November 1st, 2016.Solicitor for the accused, Mr Frank Dorrian, told the court that Valentine had been in case from the age of 3 to 17 and had very little contact with his biological parents.Mr Dorrian said his client had a partner and a child and had been given an opportunity to distribute cannabis.He said that he had found himself homeless before this and saw this as an opportunity to get his family “over the line.”“He did not see himself as a major player and got caught very early on,” said Mr Dorrian.Mr Dorrian added that there had been another raid on Valentine’s rented house but nothing was found.The solicitor said that Valentine wore this as a badge of honour to let Gardai know that he was now trying to go straight.Valentine also pleaded guilty to a number of motor traffic offences.Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case until December 7th for a community service and probation report.However, he warned Valentine “Given the facts, it will be very difficult to avoid a custodial sentence but we will see what we can do.”Man operating online drugs operation caught by vigilant Gardai was last modified: November 5th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:courtdonegaldrugsletterkennyonlineShane Valentinelast_img read more


first_imgDanny McDaid runs through the tape to mark the official launch of the Donegal Marathon 2014 last March.As the closing date of the 30th June for the Early Bird reduced Registration rate for the Donegal Marathon draws near, Chairman Dessie Larkin reminisces with Donegal’s very own Danny McDaid, Double Marathon Olympian and winner of the last competitive marathon to take place in Donegal. In the following interview, Danny shares the mind-set of a competitive marathon runner with the former Letterkenny Mayor who intends to walk the half-marathon himself when the event takes place on the 24th August, this year.Dessie: Hello Danny, thank you for taking the time for a wee chat about the marathon and for all your efforts on the Organising Committee. Having had such an illustrious career in athletics I feel that you must have seen many changes through the years. How would you compare marathon running when you first started with the marathons of today? Danny: Thank you, Dessie. I’m very excited about this upcoming event as I feel it’s high time we had a competitive marathon event in this county to showcase the abundance of long distance runners we have today. Marathon runners in my time were athletes who were no longer good enough to compete at shorter events so they moved up to the marathon. It was all about being able to run the distance. Today’s marathon runner is usually a good 10k runner as well and starts running marathons much younger.Dessie: In your opinion, is a marathon about competing with the other runners or competing with the course?Danny: If you are a top class runner you are competing against other competitors. If you are a 3 hour plus runner you are competing with yourself and the course.Dessie: As a Double Olympian in the Marathon event, it must be of great personal satisfaction to reflect on such an outstanding athletic career, but what is your most abiding memory of your time spent wearing the Irish singlet? Danny: I always got great personal satisfaction but there was always a team to think of – family, coach and club who made many sacrifices along the way. I always felt I had a job to do when I was representing my country which added a fair bit of pressure but I felt I did it to the best of my ability.Dessie: Superstition or routine often plays a part in an athlete’s preparation; where there any rituals or preparations before or during the event that you had to complete when taking part in a marathon?Danny: Superstition or ritual were never part of my preparation. Preparation was to be happy about my training, my running kit, comfortable running shoes, pre-race meal and a good night’s sleep if that is possible.Dessie: What do you think are the main benefits of establishing the Donegal Marathon this year and moving forward?DMD: I see two main benefits. Firstly, to re-establish Marathon running in the county and maybe produce marathon runners like we had in the past from the wealth of enthusiastic runners that I have alluded to already; and secondly, to bring more people to Donegal by showcasing our beautiful town of Letterkenny and the surrounding county.Dessie: As the winner of the 1983 marathon, what are your abiding memories of that day? Danny: Ah there were a few, Dessie! The fact that it was ten minutes’ drive into town to the start of race instead of travelling long distances to other races all over Ireland, and that I was competing on a course which took me past my own home. I also remember the pleasure I felt giving the people of Letterkenny and Glenswilly the opportunity to see top class runners from all over Ireland and further afield pass their own doors with a Glen man leading them home. The joy and pride of my family and friends as I crossed finish line on Pearce Rd was very, very sweet and will always stay with me!Dessie: Finally Danny, remaining with the fact that you won the last marathon to be held in Donegal, that this is a Donegal audience, and with a subtle little nod to our county, I’ll ask you one last question; what is your greatest achievement in athletics?Danny: Looking back I was so lucky to have been given the natural ability to achieve so much, being selected for my first International, selected for two Olympics and privileged to captain the Irish team who won silver medals at the World Cross Country 1979 were all very special moments, but in direct response to your very pointed question… I will have to say it was winning the last competitive marathon to be held in Donegal in 1983!For more information on the Donegal Marathon 2014, visit www.donegalmarathon.ie or find them on facebook. So if you’ve been doing a bit of running lately, why don’t you get your running shoes back on and take the ultimate challenge? Options include running the full marathon and walking or running the half marathon. Alternatively, you can just turn out on the course to lend your much-needed support and encouragement to all participants. Together we can make the 24th August a day to remember! DANNY McDAID – THE TIME IS RIGHT FOR A MARATHON IN DONEGAL was last modified: June 17th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Danny McDaidDessie LarkindonegalLetterkenny marathonlast_img read more


first_imgTermon ladies would like to thank Macs Hydrotherapy in the Aura Letterkenny for the complimentary use of their facilities ahead of the big game SundayTERMON’S Ladies footballers have finally been told where their long-awaited All-Ireland Club Final will take place.Their bid for All-Ireland glory will take place in Tuam Stadium with a 2pm throw-in this Sunday.The Donegal and Ulster champions will face Mourneabbey of Cork in the showpiece final. The club has received messages of support from throughout Donegal and Ulster in the past few days.There has even been a message Micheal Divilly, the manager of semi-final opponents Kilkerrin/Clonberne.“You can do it now,” he said.  AT LAST! TERMON LADIES GET ALL-IRELAND FINAL VENUE IN GALWAY was last modified: November 24th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ALL-IRELAND FINALTermonTuamlast_img read more


first_imgDonegal Sinn Fein TD Pearse Doherty has announced that his party have published a Dáil Private Members’ Motion which would mandate the government to maintain current child benefit rates and other social welfare rates.The motion will be debated in the Dáil next Wednesday and Thursday evenings.Speaking today following the publication of the motion Deputy Doherty said: “The government is continuing to perpetuate the myth that they have no choices in this budget. The truth is that they do have choices and Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission has shown that choices can be made that do not punish those already on social welfare. “Cutting child benefit by €10 per week would save the state in the region of €150 million on this scheme. But as Sinn Féin has shown, the government has a whole host of alternative options available to choose from if they want to protect children.“For example, a 48% third rate of tax on incomes in excess of €100,000 would raise €410 million and a wealth tax of 1% on assets worth more than €1 million, with some exclusions, would raise €800 million. It’s a question of political choice.“Sinn Féin truly believes in cherishing all of the children of the nation equally. We don’t just pay lip service to it.“Latest figures show that there are 96,000 children living in consistent poverty in this state with a further 205,000 at risk of poverty. Children are going to school hungry and without proper warm clothes. “This motion is about protecting those children. It is about showing the government that they can choose the children of this state or they can choose unguaranteed bank bondholders.”FULL MOTION:That the Dáil –Notes recent research commissioned by the St. Vincent de Paul and Barnardos which found that 96,000 children are going without the essentials needed for an acceptable standard of living such as three meals a day, their own books for reading and taking part in clubs and activities;Notes the Programme for Government promise to maintain social welfare rates; Calls on the government to exempt children from shouldering the burden of recovery; andDirects the government to maintain current levels of Child Benefit and other social welfare payments, in particular those impacting on children including adult social welfare payments and eligibility criteria, the Qualified Child Increase and Family Income Supplement.DOHERTY’S LEGAL BID TO STOP CHILD BENEFIT CUTS was last modified: November 25th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CHILD WEFAREPearse Dohertylast_img read more


first_imgCaroline Walsh took this picture of Danny Wilkinson in actionCongratulations to Gary McPhillips & Paul Sheridan from Co.Monaghan who are the NEW An Chuirt Harvest Stages Rally Winners.Runner Up was Local Mark 2 Ace Driver Patrick McHugh navigated by Pauric O’Donnell.Patrick Boyle & Donal McCole was 3rd. Class 1: Francie McKenna / Sean CraigClass 2: Winner – Michael McCafferty / Damien Whoirskey. Runner Up – Aiden Wray / Kieran McGrath. 3rd In Class – Andrew McLaughlin / Stephen McLaughlin.Class 4:Winners – Martin Doherty / Damien McCauleyRunner Up – Trevor Bustard / Fabian McShaneClass 5:John Mulholland / Damien McCann Class 6:Winner – Callum Devine / Liam McLaughlinRunner Up – Alastair Glen / John SweeneyClass 9:Winner – Damien O’Reilly / Damien McCabeRunner Up – Nicholas Alcorn / James HeartyClass 10:Winner- Gary Kiernan / Niall TierneyRunner Up – John & Niall Kelly3rd in class – Martin & James EwingClass 11:Winner – Dermot O’Hagan / Pierce Doheny JnrRunner Up – Barry Treanor / Colm Connolly3rd in Class – Stephen McDonagh & James O’DonnellClass12:Winner – Arthur & Mac KieransRunner up – James Cassidy / Declan Smith3rd in class – Patrick Bonner & Patrick McHugh Class 13:Winner – Raymond Conlon & Darren McCagueRunner Up – Daniel Conaghan & Terence McGee3rd in class – Victor Hunter & Paddy McCruddenClass 14:Winner – Wesley Patterson & Johnny BairdRunner Up – Conor Watters & John Boyle3rd in Class – Camillus Bradley & Crawford HendersonJunior Category:Winner – Kevin McLaughlin & Kieran McGinleyRunner Up – Kevin Cole & Killian O’Reilly3rd in Class – Barry McLaughlin & Barry McBrideOVERALL Winners – Main Field:Winners – Gary McPhillips & Paul SheridanRunner Up – Patrick McHugh & Pauric O’Donnell3rd O/A – Patrick B Boyle & Donal McCole GARY AND PAUL CROWNED AN CHUIRT HARVEST RALLY CHAMPS was last modified: October 13th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:An CHuirtDonegal rallyingHarvest RallyResultslast_img read more

City to donate funds to Habitat

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA CLARITA – If it takes a village to raise a child it might take an entire country to rebuild the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast region, one house at a time. On Tuesday, Santa Clarita city officials decided to pitch in by donating $66,000 to Habitat for Humanity, the national organization that builds homes for those in need. City spokeswoman Gail Ortiz said Habitat was the top choice after city officials reviewed charities soliciting funds for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. “It seemed like really putting communities on the road to recovery, getting people back in their homes was what we wanted to do,” Ortiz said. The Georgia-based nonprofit group has devised an ambitious action plan to speedily put roofs over as many heads as possible in the coming years. Volunteers from across the country are fabricating housing frames, which are being sent in large sections to the Gulf Coast. Crews of about 30 volunteers will descend on home sites, where they will “blitz build” homes in about a week. The average 1,200-square-foot Habitat home has three bedrooms and one bathroom. The group has constructed more than 200,000 homes since it was established in 1976. So far, Habitat has raised about $8.2 million to aid those left homeless by Katrina. The city’s donation will come from a contingency fund designed to give the Santa Clarita City Council the leeway to take speedy action.last_img read more

Up to 20 minute traffic delays expected at Buncrana roadworks

first_imgMotorists are advised to plan ahead and expect delays if travelling outside Buncrana during the next ten weeks. Essential roadworks commencing at Cockhill Bridge are due to last until April. Traffic delays of up to 20 minutes are to be expected during the roadworks period, according to Donegal County Council.The council have thanked road users for their patience and co-operation while this work is being done.  Up to 20 minute traffic delays expected at Buncrana roadworks was last modified: January 22nd, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:buncranaCockhill BridgeDonegal County Councilroadworkslast_img read more