…in connection with the embezzlement of Nu 91.6M
Update: The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) detained two more employees of Bhutan National Bank Ltd (BNBL) in connection with the embezzlement of Nu 91.6M (million).
The two employees are an assistant credit officer and a support-staff at the BNBL’s Paro branch office. They were detained on August 3, three days after ACC detained BNBL’s assistant IT officer who is suspected to have embezzled more than Nu 50M. The ACC detained her on July 30.
Sources said that the two are suspected to have colluded with the supervisor of Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd. (RICBL) and BNBL’s assistant IT officer in embezzling of Nu 91.6M.
Sources said as the three BNBL employees that the ACC has detained so far didn’t deal with cash, a strong collusion is suspected between the RICBL and the BNBL employees. The three is suspected to have embezzled RICBL’s fund most of which were in cheques from BNBL.
BNBL officials refused to comment saying that with an investigation by ACC underway, it was early to comment.
Soon after the case surfaced, the supervisor absconded from Paro on June 20. He was traced in Nepal more than a month later after which he was flown to the country on August 1. RICBL had even announced a reward of Nu 1M for information that would lead to his arrest.
RICBL officials refused to comment saying that they would issue a press release after they convene a board meeting. Information couldn’t be shared if the informer or informers were rewarded the committed amount.
The embezzlement took place over three years since 2013. Preliminary estimates showed that about 47M were siphoned off in 2013, about 37M in 2014 and about Nu 8M as of April this year.
The embezzlement case came to light only after a special audit team was deputed to the Paro branch office on June 10 this year 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 same happened with BNBL.
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.