Thukten Zangpo  

Home ministry’s Department of Law and Order (DLO) has issued an order to freeze an account linked to a fake donation drive through Facebook at around midnight on September 18.

A fictitious account in the name of Dema Yangzom claimed that her friend’s daughter ‘Pema Tahoki Dolma’ is suffering from kidney failure and needed Nu 2 million (M) for treatment in India. It claimed that the family has only Nu 0.2M.

A Bank of Bhutan (BoB) account number and a photo of a child were shared in the post. The post went viral, many Bhutanese started depositing money into the account.

A social media user observed that it was the first post of the account. The individual also did not acknowledge any of the contributions from well-wishers. 

After complaints, Bhutan Kidney Foundation (BKF) issued a statement that it was not genuine.

“The content of the post is not true and the agency does not have any child registered with kidney failure,” said  BKF executive director, Tashi Namgay adding that the child’s photo was taken from a website.

“It is a lesson for all the Bhutanese to not blindly trust and be mindful,” Tashi Namgay said.

Officiating Director of DLO, Karma Dorji said that the account number mentioned in the post was frozen and that they would investigate the case today.

He said that they were waiting for the details of the account number from the BoB to study whether the person who owned the Facebook account and the bank account owner is the same.

“We want to be absolutely sure of the case and present it properly to the police,” said Karma Dorji.

The DLO also notified the public yesterday against people engaging in the collection of donations with fake stories through social media. “To solicit donation, one must seek approval from the DLO,” it states.

The agency also asked the people to refrain from making contributions unless there is an approval letter number quoted in their Facebook or other social media posts.

Edited by Tshering Palden