Case details

Guyah (Appellant) v Commissioner of Customs and another (Respondents) (Jamaica)

Case ID: JCPC 2016/0085

Jurisdiction: The Court of Appeal of Jamaica

Case summary

Issue(s)

Whether a 2007 Suzuki Swift Motor Car with Chassis No ZC71S40213 was lawfully seized by customs officials as uncustomed goods

Facts

The appellant is employed by the Jamaica Customs Department. He was involved in the seizure of 14 motor vehicles, including a 2007 Suzuki Swift with Chassis no ZC71S404213 (‘the Car’), which arrived in Jamaica on 15 November 2009, in respect of which the Commissioner of Customs issued forfeiture orders. After the importers took no steps to set aside the forfeiture, the agents for the consignment of the vehicles applied on 11 January 2011 to enter them under Customs Act. The forfeiture orders were withdrawn. The tax due on the Car was paid using the appellant’s credit card and the Car was then sold to Ms Audrey Carter. The Car was in the custody of the appellant’s sister when it was seized by Customs officials on 15 February 2012. The appellant was arrested and charged by the Revenue Protection Division on 12 March 2012 for breaches of the Customs Act, Corruption Prevention Act and Larceny Act in respect of all 14 vehicles. The appellant issued a claim seeking a declaration that the Car was not legally classifiable as uncustomed goods and as such its seizure had been unlawful.

Parties

Appellant(s)

Omar Guyah

Respondent(s)

Commissioner of Customs, Attorney General of Jamaica

Appeal

Justices

Lord Kerr, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lord Briggs

Hearing start date

23 Jan 2018

Hearing finish date

23 Jan 2018