Rinzin Wangchuk

Claiming that the loan was availed without their consent, three children of a landowner in Sarpang appealed to the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited (RICBL) to release their family property that was mortgaged without their “consent and knowledge”.

Representing her mother and two siblings, Dawa Zangmo, also requested the management to allow her mother to withdraw from being a guarantor of the loan availed by Tshering Samdrup Construction Private Limited. 

The mother, Leki Zangmo,  owns a land measuring 2.74 acres in Darbithang, Dekiling gewog. It was used as collateral with a security value of Nu 34.098 million (M) when the contractor applied for an overdraft loan of Nu 5M. 

The loan was released to the contractor’s wife Sonam Zangmo on June 30, 2017.

The management of RCBL on May 8 informed her that the borrower will need to either bring in property equivalent to the existing mortgage or reduce the outstanding loan amount for releasing the property from the mortgage. “This is because the mortgage is secured by the property and the lender needs to ensure that they have adequate security for the loan,” credit manager Kinley Tshering stated in response.

However, Leki Zangmo’s daughter, Dawa Zangmo claimed that the contractor had forged thumbprints of her sister and brother to use their family’s property as collateral to avail the loan. 

“My sister and brother are educated and they would sign instead of thumbprints on the “no objection certificate” even if they had agreed,” Dawa Zangmo told Kuensel. Her sister and brother denied consenting to the mortgage and lodged a complaint to the RICBL.

They also found that the no objection certificate was prepared on the same day the loan was disbursed. “The document should be obtained before sanctioning the loan,” one of the siblings said. “This indicates that the borrower in collusion with another contractor conspired to rob us,” she said.


How it happened

Dawa Zangmo discovered that her mother’s land had been mortgaged with RICBL when her sister wanted to apply for a loan from BDBL. 

The family suspected that contractor Sonam Tenzin, who took their original lagthram copy, could have misused and deceived them.

Dawa Zangmo then started looking for Sonam Tenzin who was one of the witnesses when Tshering Samdrup construction was sanctioned the loan with their property mortgaged.

They managed to contact Sonam Zangmo, contractor Tshering Chophel’s wife, who returned recently from the Middle East. She was unaware of the dealings and denied knowing Sonam Tenzin.

The three siblings are accusing RICBL management for sanctioning loan without verifying documents and “jeopardizing their future.” 

General manager of RICBL’s credit department, Pema Yangchen, said that they had followed the process and procedures with due diligence while sanctioning the loan. “We have documents to prove that both borrower and guarantors signed and accepted the terms and conditions of the loan agreements,” she said. “Even the family members of Leki Zangmo had given their consent to use their 2.74 acre land as collateral.”

The outstanding loan amount as of April stands at Nu 5.441M and another Nu 559,786 provided as fixed equated installment facility (FEIF) with zero percent interest in July 2022. 

Sonam Zangmo’s former husband was  not available for comment.