After detaining her for 59 days, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) released the project manager of Buddha Dordenma Image Foundation, Damcho Choden, on August 9. She was released after ACC detained her associate and nephew, Younten Jamtsho. 

The commission detained Damcho Choden, popularly known as Anim Damchoe, since June 11 for suspected possession of “unexplained wealth.”  Section 60 of the Anti-Corruption Act 2011 empowers ACC to investigate disproportionate assets and income he or she possesses. 

Kuensel learnt that Anim Damcho has multiple bank accounts and several movable and immovable properties. The former nun is also alleged for project fund diversion, fraudulent practice in tourism business and tax evasion.

The ACC has issued a freeze notice on immovable properties registered in Damcho Choden’s name against any transaction. The commission has listed six properties – three dry land in Sarpang and Thimphu and three buildings in Thimphu and Punakha. ACC also froze transactions for two building registered in her brother Ugyen’s name and one Sonam Yangzom in Guma, Punakha. 

ACC’s freeze notice shall remain effective until such time the commission revokes by superseding the order or upon the completion of legal proceedings, whichever comes earlier. 

ACC officials said that although the commission released Damcho Choden, she would remain suspended from participating in the management of the project until such time the reason for suspension is subsisted.

The chairman and founder of the Buddha Dordenma Project suspended Damcho Choden indefinitely from work on August 6.

Staff Reporter