The victims say they lost almost Nu 1mn and are getting death threat messages daily from the scammer
A 27-year-old man from Kalikhola, Dagana, who is presently in Delhi, India, has conned almost five people in the country of money that totals up to Nu 1mn.
According to the police in Thimphu, the case is still under investigation and they are tracking the culprit as he is not here in Bhutan.
Victims, meanwhile, confessed to Business Bhutan that they have been conned and that money was taken from them fraudulently by Osman Osang Daniel Gurung, aka Daniel. They say they have also been facing messages of death threats from Daniel when asking him about the repayment.
Most of the victims have been harassed and defamed on social media and personally accused on WhatsApp with death threats, stating that their family members will be killed if the victims try to file the case with the police.
Meanwhile, the fake news and photos of most of the victims with their family members and friends can be seen on Facebook, which are posted by Daniel using anonymous Facebook accounts under the names of Sonam Wangchuk and Sonam Wangdi.
The victims say they have lost almost Nu 1mn and have simultaneously been receiving messages of death threats from Daniel.
How Daniel conned people out of their money?
Business Bhutan learnt that Osman Osang Daniel Gurung first tries to gain trust of the other person. After a certain sort of bond is built, he would send the other person a parcel or would give whatever things that the other person orders online. But it is when the other person orders more things involving huge money, Daniel goes missing with the money.
A resident of Thimphu, Mon Prasad Dhamla, said Daniel promised him that he would give him a good leather jacket, and then later told him that he ordered a TV for some customers, who didn’t have enough cash, and took Nu 22,000 as an advance money from Mon Prasad Dhamla.
“He also offered me to have a business partnership with him – online business and Visa.com,” he said.
Telling that Daniel’s company will finance everything from sending furniture and other office accessories and also the rent for an office, Mon Prasad Dhamla said he was even told by Daniel to look for an empty flat in and around Thimphu, and later also made him buy a car.
Mon Prasad Dhamla shared that he bought one car, but Daniel didn’t send the money.
“He kept on making excuses, one after another, and also asked for an account number in Nepal. When I gave the account number, he said there is a problem with issuing the check. Sometimes, he would say there is no board director and so on,” he said.
Mon Prasad Dhamla said he had also ordered a laptop worth Nu 30,000, and the same amount was sent to Daniel.
“He would send me pictures of the laptop and the bags, saying that the laptop and jacket were on the way. But I didn’t receive the laptop and the money back,” he said.
He added that it has been almost six months now.
“When my wife tried to contact him regarding the money, saying that she will file a case with the police, I got back the amount of Nu 22,000, but didn’t get the amount for the laptop,” Mon Prasad Dhamla said.
Another victim, Wangyel, who runs a bar in Gelephu, said that Daniel chatted with him on Facebook Messenger and said that he was coming back to Bhutan. Daniel shared with Wangyel that he works with amazon.com and can easily bring things to Bhutan.
Wangyel said he ordered things for his daughter worth Nu 13,000 and sent the amount to the account number as given by Daniel.
‘I also shared about Daniel’s online business with my house owner in Debsi, Thimphu and the house owner also ordered things worth Nu 47,000 as Daniel promised to get the things from amazon.com. It was all lies and it has been one month now without any interaction with him,” Wangyel said.
One of the victims, Lham Rinzin also said that as their friendship started on the basis of trust, Daniel asked him to lend money worth Nu 20,000 online, stating that Daniel didn’t receive his money from Nepal and Canada.
“He did pay me back on time. But he again asked me for money to buy a gift for his girlfriend on their anniversary and I helped him again since he proved loyal to his words initially,” he said.
Once after Daniel messaged him several times again, requesting Nu 70,000 as for the final time, Lham Rinzin said he helped him with Nu 45,000.
“However, on November 18, 2021, Daniel asked me to pay for a certain things, stating that his uncle from Canada would wire the money to my account,” said Lham Rinzin, adding that Daniel had also sent him the receipt paper of the bank in Canada, which showed that the amount was wired from Canada to his account.
“Seeing the paper, I managed an amount of Nu 530,000 via Bhutan Post to Canada to the address provided. It was only later on inquiry with the bank, the receipt was found to be fake. Daniel has been lying about the money being sent,” Lham Rinzin said.
How did the victims meet Daniel?
Business Bhutan found that most of Daniel’s victims met him on social media, while he was using the user’s name Dhanji Gurung in Dzongkha words (which is the fake account of Osman Osang Daniel Gurung).
To people that Daniel met on social media, he would tell that his father is from Haa, his parents are divorced and that his mother is in Canada. Further, he would say that his father owns a building in Thimphu, and that he doesn’t own any shares. To sustain himself, he would say that he does online business at Amazon.com, Flipkart, and other online businesses.
The victim, Mon Prasad Dhamla, who said of having met Daniel online, said, “We have been chatting always from that day and share our personal things as well.”
Similarly, Lham Rinzin said, “Daniel used to share that he has online businesses, including Amazon.com, Flipkart, and visa.com, and that it will be easier for him to get the things to Bhutan. Daniel also proposed to me to open a visa business in Bhutan in partnership with him.”
Wangyel said he met Daniel with his girlfriend in the former’s bar.
“He has been a regular customer and we became friends because he always shares about his online business and visa.com business in Nepal,” he added.
Meanwhile, two other victims, who don’t want to be named, said they also met Daniel online with the latter sharing stories about his business, and broken family, among others.
“He used to bluff a lot and can easily change the minds of the people,” they said, adding that all his words were lies and that they knew his real name from the National Census Office in Bhutan.
What Daniel says?
While exchanging messages on WhatsApp during an interview for the story, Daniel also threatened that he would destroy the reporter’s image before the reporter could publish the news in its April 23, 2022 edition.
So using anonymous Facebook accounts with user names of Sonam Wangchuk and Sonam Wangdi, Daniel posted photos of the reporter with his family and friends, and threatened him from messaging to Daniel.
Daniel also posted false claims that the reporter tried to extort money so that he would not write an article.
According to Daniel, the people’s names mentioned above have allegedly asked him to do online business with them and they have cheated him. So, he writes on Facebook and shares them on various pages about them.
However, more than four victims have shown evidences that they didn’t allege him or accused him, and the victims only asked for their money to be returned.
Every victim said of being told by Daniel that he doesn’t care whether they register the case with the police or send him to the court, because nobody would find him because he is outside Bhutan and that he has links globally.
Death threats to victims?
When most of the victims confront Osman Osang Daniel Gurung for repayment of the amounts, it has been found that Daniel has used various social media pages with fake articles and posts about the victims. Daniel also posted defamatory statements against the reporter when working on this story.
Lham Rinzin said, “I confronted Daniel and his girlfriend on several occasions, but he unceasingly lied about his location and threatened to expose certain secrets (false) he claimed to know about me and my family while not agreeing to pay back.”
“Other times, he coaxed me giving dates and saying he would pay by then, or his friend or father would be making the payment. But all these are malicious and false claims,” he said.
“For four months I have been waiting for the repayment and it is immense mental torture every day. I have endured much hardship through financial blockage due to Daniel,” he added.
Lham Rinzin said he also had to face several messages of death threats, asking him to temporarily withdraw any case against Daniel. He would also reassure me about making the repayment.
Mon Prasad Dhamla said that he was defamed more than 30 times on various social media pages.
“This has also created issues between my wife and family members. I have reported the defamation case to the Thimphu police,” he said.
Wangyel said that he didn’t report the case to the police because he received messages from Daniel, stating that his things will be reached to him very soon or that the money will be reimbursed.
One of the victims said, “I blocked him on every social media and stop bothering him even if I lost my money. It disturbs me and my family because this man uses slang words and writes fake articles on Facebook about me. I don’t want to inform the police either.”
What do the police say?
According to the Thimphu police, only Mon Prasad Dhamla has registered a case as of now against Daniel and he has been told to get evidence to issue an arrest warrant for the scamster.
Lham Rinzin and Wangyel said that they are registering the case with the Gelephu police.
Business Bhutan learned that most of the victims are reluctant to register a case with the police as the victims have been scared after receiving messages of death threats from Daniel.