Phub Dem 

Haa dzongkhag court convicted four men to  prison terms ranging from one to two years for burglary.

The four men were found guilty of raiding the police Officer Commanding (OC)’s residence in Haa last year.

The incident occurred in March last year when the OC was out of the station.

Paro police arrested the men, aged between 29 and 35,  and recovered the stolen items in the first week of April.

According to the judgment, defendant Tshering Dorji met defendant Tshering Phuntsho while playing archery in Paro. Tshering Dorji told Tshering Phuntsho about the OC owing valuables worth Nu 7 to 8 million.

He also agreed to help sell the valuables, and the duo decided to divide the amount.

Tshering Phuntsho told his brother Ugyen Dorji and friend Tshering about the plan.

Ugyen Dorji and Tshering broke into the OC’s house on March 2 last year and stole the “Safe Box”.

The box contained many valuables.  The safe was then thrown in the river below Eusuna bridge, Paro, after collecting the valuable items such as cat eyes, corals, gold rings, earrings and bracelets.

The judgment stated that defendant Ugyen Dorji and Tshering are found guilty of burglary as per the Penal Code of Bhutan (2004), which states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of burglary if the defendant unlawfully enters or remains in a building, an occupied structure, or a separately secured or occupied portion of a building or construction used as an abode, industry, or business, with or without force, with the intent to commit a crime therein, unless the building, occupied structure, or separately secured or occupied portion of the building or construction is at the time open to the public or the defendant is licensed or privileged to enter or remain.

The burglary offence is graded a misdemeanour and the defendants have to serve a prison term between one year to three years.

Both of them are given prison terms of two years and six months.

While Tshering can pay thrimthe in lieu of prison term, Ugyen Dorji’s sentence was non-compoundable as he was found to be a repeat offender.

Tshering Phuntsho and Tshering Dorji are given a prison term of one year and three months as per section 134 of the Penal Code of Bhutan, which states that a defendant guilty of the offence shall be liable for half the penalty awarded to the person who had committed the crime.

While Tshering Phuntsho can pay Nu 47,250 as thrimthue, Tshering Dorji was sentenced non-compoundable as he was also a repeat offender.

The court also ordered Ugyen Dorji and Tshering to pay around Nu 5.4 million to the OC within six months after the court’s verdict ,as they damaged the property and failed to recover a cat-eye.

The court also ordered to confiscate Nu 3M from Tshering Dorji as he received the amount from Tshering Phuntsho. The court ordered them to restitute the money to the government.

The court also ordered to hand over Nu 50,000, which was given as a commission for selling the valuables to Ngawang Tshering. Tshering has to hand over his car (Baleno), and Nu 36,000 to the government as any property constituting the criminal proceeds or any benefit derived from such offence shall be subjected to confiscation or recovery, according to the PCB.

All defendants have appealed to the High Court.