The Opposition Leader submitted a report to the Chairperson of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday to investigate the case concerning the alleged involvement of party workers of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in operating a fake REDCL agent in Tsirang town and conning the people by promising loan and illegally collecting fees of Nu 300 each.
During the Opposition Leader’s week-long tour to Tsirang Dzongkhag from December 21-27, 2017, one common issue raised by people from 10 gewogs out of the total 12 during the consultative meetings was for the Opposition’s intervention and follow up on the case despite the case having been appealed to the Prime Minister and the Agriculture Minister.
They say that PDP coordinators in the Dzongkhag collected Nu 300 each from individual during March to August last year as cost of the form and duped them on the pretext of providing loans.
“After listening to repeated account of the people, we are given to believe that the issue merits thorough investigation for alleged impersonation of a government organization and swindling the people of 10 gewogs (in this case setting up a fake REDCL office),” states the report submitted by Opposition Leader Dr. Pema Gyamtsho and ACC’s Chairperson Kinley Yangzom.
“Therefore, on behalf of those affected by the aforementioned scam, we would like to appeal to you to conduct a thorough investigation of the issue and bring it to a logical conclusion,” the report read. “With almost years passed, none of the applicants claim to have received the loans they applied for. The agent has now closed and the people who operated the office could not be traced.”
A written statement from applicants of Mendrelgang and Phuentenchu Gewogs that had been submitted to the Opposition Leader mentioned that PDP’s Dagana Dzongkhag Coordinator Gopal Lama, Tsirang Dzongkhag Coordinator Rangdoj Subbha, and party workers Dawa Darji Tamang and Chewang Rinzin were involved in running the said agent in Damphu town.
The OL also stated in his report that the agent and the individuals involved have breached the provisions of the Anti-Corruption Act of Bhutan 2011, particularly section 66, 67 and 68 dealing with commercial bribery and embezzlement of fund by a private individual.
In an earlier interview with Business Bhutan, Siva Lal Kararia, gup of Phuentenchu gewog, said people had done the work privately and he was not involved. Even the issue was not brought to notice of the office before and now. The Gup also said that he has no knowledge of the issue.
Similarly, PDP’s General Secretary Sonam Jatso in an earlier interview with Business Bhutan had said the issue was brought up during their party meeting.
“People were helped to process for the loan, they were facilitating the people. Everything was done in a good faith to help each other. Due to delay there has been some misunderstanding. If the people have collected the money then it has to be returned,” he said then. “I am going to request our MPs to look into the matter during their constituency visit and find solution to the issue. The party will seek recommendations from the MPs after they have visited and investigated the issue and then act accordingly. We have to do something about it.”
Chencho Dema from Thimphu