Former RICBL executive director rebutted to the charges of conflict of interest, forgery, and abuse of function against him at the Thimphu dzongkhag court on April 29.

His lawyer Yeshey Wangdi requested the court to dismiss the case. 

He said the investment in Nubri Capital was a legal transaction, in compliance with regulations in place.

He said the investment of Nu 100 million is from the bond redemption fund of the total investment of over Nu 1.2 billion made in other institutions on similar business model. “The transaction was carried out on an arms length basis. The investment was made as per the power of attorney granted by the board and the chief executive officer.”

The decision to invest in Nubri Capital was made by the asset liabilities committee of RICBL, which was later endorsed by the technical advisory committee of the board and the board of directors, the lawyer said.

He claimed that RICBL benefited more from this investment transaction, as Nubri Capital offered the highest returns compared to other financial institutions.

There is no conflict of interest on the part of the executive director as the management and the board was aware of his shareholdings, he said. “Moreover, the executive director was not involved in making the decision to invest in Nubri Capital and he has not signed on any of the documents related to Nubri-RICBL transactions,” he said.

As per the RICBL service rules, employees are allowed to own shares in any registered company.

“If investment made in Nubri Capital is seen as conflict of interest, then other investments made in loans of Nu 18 billion should also be seen as conflict of interest as in Bhutan every third person you meet is related to you due to the small and closed-knitted society,” he said.

The executive director submitted his resignation even before the transaction between Nubri Capital and RICBL took place, however, the board rejected the resignation.

He said there seems to be confusion between creative financial model and corruption.

“In no way the executive director benefitted from the transaction as he is just one of the 12 shareholders of Nubri Capital,” he said.

Staff Reporter