Court: Sarpang dzongkhag court on October 8, upheld the lower court’s ruling on the counterfeit money case where the Gelephu dungkhag court sentenced three non-Bhutanese to one and a half year non-compoundable prison term.

According to the verdict, the appellate court has dismissed the appeal case as the ground for appeal could not be admitted by the court due to lack of sufficient evidence. The case was appealed to the dzongkhag court on September 29.

The three were charged under section 308 of the Penal Code of Bhutan.

According to the section, a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of counterfeiting, if the defendant knowingly manufactures, distributes or sells counterfeit medicinal products, false currency, coin or bank notes and the offence of counterfeiting shall be a felony of the fourth degree.

The verdict states that Prem Bahadur Darjee, Gazad Bahadur Pradhan and Bikash Sunar all from Dathgari, a small town across the border in Gelephu, despite knowing the currency they were carrying was fake tried to exchange it from Bhutan. They were promised a commission of Nu 200 for every INR 500 note exchanged.

They were caught when they were trying to exchange their fake money from one of the office located near the Gelephu-Dathgari boarder gate. The trio had INR 11,000 when they were arrested.

Gelephu police has registered two counterfeiting cases this year.

Yeshey Dema, Tsirang