Chhimi Dema

Thimphu police have arrested seven men for suspected cattle rustling from various parts of the dzongkhag in two months.

Last week, Desuups on patrolling duty found that a 34-year-old man had lifted a bull from around Yangchenphu HSS in Thimphu. They stopped his bolero pickup truck until police arrived and arrested him.

The bull was returned to his owner yesterday.

The man also confessed to have taken six cattle from Paro and selling them in Tsirang on April 30. The suspect was sent to gather the animals from Tsirang. Police said that the cattle would be kept in the Thimphu Thromde livestock pound until the owner comes to claim them.

Thimphu Police Officer In-charge, Gembo Penjor, said, “We’ve kept the cattle in the pound for now. We’re also examining complaints from other police stations to verify if the cattle he tried to sell were stolen.”

Police seek proper documentation from Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority (BAFRA) to rule out cattle raid, but the suspect had no documents.

The case is still under investigation.

In another incident, a 27-year-old man was apprehended on March 2 for stealing two pregnant jersey cows from a cowshed in Babesa, Thimphu.

Police received information that a bolero pickup had left the area with two cows.

Police informed highway checkpoints and traced the suspect who was headed to Tsirang. The offender sold the cows to a slaughterhouse, saying that he needed money and was selling his cattle.

Later, he confessed to his crimes, and the cows were returned to their owner in Thimphu.

On March 22, villagers of Genekha in Thimphu reported 18 cattle missing from their locality. Locals also told police that five men were loitering suspiciously around Khasadrapchu, Thimphu around the same time.

The men stole six cattle from the pasture shed and kept them in their bolero pickup truck.

When police arrested them, they had sold six of them to India via Sarpang border.

Police are looking for the rest of the herd.

As per section 240 of Penal Code of Bhutan, six of them were charged with larceny. The five men who stole the cattle from Genekha are also charged with possession of the stolen property as per section 255 of the Code.

Gembo Penjor said that since meat import is banned, people are trying to exploit the situation.