Chencho Dema 

Wangdue—Police in Wangdue have arrested four men aged between 20 and 30 years old, on February 24, and charged for larceny and malicious mischief. 

According to the police, the four suspects, all farmers from Merak and Sakteng, had been arrested on the charges of stealing nine cattle, slaughtering, and selling the meat from different gewogs in Wangdue. 

Although nine cases of cattle theft and slaughter were reported to the Wangdue police this year till date, the suspects confessed to slaughtering one yak and four oxen and denied involvement in the other cases.

However, based on the modus operandi of the crimes, police officials said that they suspected the individuals to be involved in all the cases.

The first case of the crime was reported to the police from Saephu gewog, complaining that two yaks were found slaughtered, with only the heads and intestines left behind in the forest. 

Similar cases were reported from Kazhi gewog, where a cattle was slaughtered, and the last case was reported on February 22, from Bjena gewog, where six cattle had been stolen and slaughtered.

During the course of surveillance, police found the suspects aged between 20 and 25 years old, at the location of the crime scene, and were arrested on February 24.

During interrogation, they revealed the names of the other two suspects involved in the crime, who then voluntarily traveled from Thimphu to Wangdue to surrender themselves on February 27. 

Police said that during the day the suspects would monitor the cattle and at night they would drag the cattles in the forest and slaughter them. Then they would dry the meat before transporting it. Police also said that the suspects had sold most of it in shops in Thimphu while some through social media. 

However, police were able to recover 55 kilograms of dried meat from Chuzomsa, located over 10 kilometers east of Wangduephodrang towards Trongsa.  Additionally, one slaughtered yak was found at the crime scene, as the perpetrators had been unable to transport it.

The police had also recovered the weapons used for slaughtering the cattle and had impounded a car (Celerio) belonging to one of the suspects. 

The police said that the four suspects did not have any past criminal records.