September 27, 2016

CJIA seeking owner of jewellery abandoned in 2013

The Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) Corporation is seeking the owner of a quantity of gold jewellery that was found there over a year ago.
A notice published a local daily state “Found: A quantity of gold jewellery at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, on December 12, 2013”.
However, the publication did not give any further details about the jewellery pieces or the circumstances under which they were found.
When contacted CJIA’s Public Relations Officer Aneka Edwards explained that much information about how the jewellery were left at the airport and how they were discovered cannot be divulged, as they want them to be returned to the rightful owner.
“It’s just some personal jewellery that a passenger left and we have been trying to get the rightful owner for a while now… we just want to return them to the rightful owners,” Edwards said.
According to the notice, claimants will have until April 30, 2016, to make a claim and shall have to satisfy the officer as to the identity and ownership of the jewels. Claimants are asked to contact the Airport Duty Officer on 261-2281 or 600-7022.
Last year it was revealed that there was a major organised gold smuggling racket in Guyana, allegedly involving customs officers. CJIA is often used as a hub to smuggle gold jewellery and raw gold out of the country.
Of recent, airport authorities have seized several pieces of jewellery believed to be for the purpose of smuggling, under new Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Amendment Act passed by Government last year, which allows designated officers to seize jewellery in excess of US$10,000 (G$2 million). However, this caused some concerns by the travelling public. Back in January, local businessman Richard Ramjit filed a $10 million lawsuit against Government after he was detained at the CJIA for several hours and his jewellery, valued some $4 million, was confiscated.
Ramjit, who is also a goldsmith, said two pieces of this jewellery, a gold and silver neckwear and a gold and silver wrist band, were seized by officers who claimed to be attached to the Customs Anti-Narcotics Unit (CANU).

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