… for failing to safe keep funds

Tashi Dema and Tshering Palden

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had asked Bhutan National Bank (BNB) to pay more than Nu 25 million (M) as special relief to the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan (RICB) on May 12.

OAG is enforcing the Supreme Court judgment rendered last month that upheld lower courts’ judgments.

The courts found BNB guilty of honouring 75 imperfect cheques, which violated the Negotiable Instrument Act in the case related to RICB’s embezzlement case in Paro in 2015.

Paro dzongkhag court, while passing judgment of RICB’s former cashier Rinchen Wangdi, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for embezzling more than Nu 60M public fund, ordered BNB to pay about 25.03M as special relief for failing safe custody of RICB’s fund.

The High Court and Supreme Court upheld the judgment.

Sources said that BNB was held accountable and liable to pay the money as it was the custodian of RICB’s fund, but RICB lost the money as BNB honoured the 75 imperfect cheques, which included forged cheques, blank cheques, pre-signed cheques, and self cheques that facilitated Rinchen Wangdi and his accomplice Yezer Dema to withdraw and embezzle the public fund.