Dechen Dolkar 

The High Court (HC) upheld the Thimphu dzongkhag court’s judgment that sentenced a senior executive of Druk PNB to three years in prison for fraudulently remitting Indian currency (INR) from Bhutan.

In the judgment passed on December 15 of last year, Kinley Penjor was found guilty of having assisted an Indian vegetable vendor in Phuentsholing, Pramod Shah, to remit INR from Druk PNB to various people in India since 2012.

He had also allowed Pramod Shah to import vegetables by using his licences, Kinxin Vegetables and Fruits and Kinxin Electronics.

Kinley Penjor received Nu 547,882 as a reward for assisting in fraudulent remittance of INR to India.

The HC also upheld the dzongkhag court’s related judgment that sentenced Pramod Kumar Shah to three years imprisonment.

Pramod Kumar Shah was also found guilty of using several other Bhutanese licences to import vegetables from India.

He had imported vegetables worth Nu 40.42M from 2012 to 2014, as per the records maintained by Regional Revenue and Customs, Phuentsholing, but the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigation ascertained that he had remitted Nu 0.104B to India using the names of various people. In doing so, he had remitted an excess amount of more than Nu 63.76M over the actual imported value.

The HC has ordered two people, who were guarantors of Pramod Kumar Shah, to bring him back to the country.

“If they fail to bring Pramod Kumar Shah back, they have to pay thrimthue in lieu of his three years imprisonment term,” the judgment stated.

Pramod Kumar Shah was also found guilty of sending a large amount of money in the form of INR demand draft (DD) and telegraphic transfer (TT) from Bhutan to numerous people in India via deception, collusion, forgery, bribery, and fronting.