A BNBL employee, who colluded with him, is alleged to have embezzled more than 50M
Update: The Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd. (RICBL) employee who was flown from Nepal on August 1 is now in Thimphu police custody.
The supervisor with RICBL’s Paro branch office had absconded since June 20 in connection to an embezzlement of about Nu 91.6M. After he absconded, RICBL announced a cash reward of Nu 100,000, which was increased to Nu 1M the following day with the board’s permission.
Sources said that after the supervisor was traced in Nepal, RICBL sent two officials there for about five days and escorted the supervisor to Bhutan.
Both the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Director refused to comment saying that they would issue a press release shortly.
The employee’s arrest is expected to provide more leads into the investigation that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has been conducting.
Sources said the assistant IT officer of Bhutan National Bank Ltd (BNBL) is still detained for interrogation. The ACC detained her on July 30.
She is suspected to have colluded with the RICBL employee and embezzled more than 50 percent of Nu 91.6M. She had worked at BNBL’s Paro branch office prior to her transfer to Phuentsholing. She was transferred to Thimphu early this year.
Sources also said that the money had been embezzled from the bank and not the RICBL cash counter. BNBL officials were not available for comment.
Kuensel also learnt that another RICBL employee, a reconciler with the finance department, is suspected to have colluded with the two accused and few millions ngultrums were also found in his bank account.
He had allegedly withheld information on the accounts from the management and had resigned soon after the embezzlement case surfaced.
Meanwhile, RICBL’s general manager of the finance department and an internal auditor still remain suspended. They were suspended on July 11 for failing to conduct their duties in connection with the embezzlement case.
The embezzlement case came to light only after a special audit team was deputed to the Paro branch office on June 10 following observations on the supervisor’s luxurious lifestyle. The special audit team was asked to verify the transactions sent to the head office against the bank details during which the discrepancies were found.
In the past, neither the internal audit nor the statutory audit and the Royal Audit Authority could detect the shortfall in revenue as the supervisor had fabricated all bank details. RICBL had also carried out an internal audit in 2013 and 2014 after receiving frequent complaints but the discrepancies could not be traced.
The supervisor who is from Samdrupjongkhar joined RICBL since December 2006 and served in Phuentsholing branch office prior to his posting in Paro. The Paro branch office is one of the biggest offices after Phuentsholing and Thimphu where substantial transactions take place in both insurance and credit.
By Kinga Dema