Thimphu district court’s criminal bench sentenced a former employee of Ugen Trading House, Tashi Choki Dorji, to three years in prison for embezzling the company’s fund of Nu 903,700.

The sentence, according to the judgment rendered on October 3, is non-compoundable.

The judgment stated that Tashi Choki Dorji was working with the company’s rescue division and intentionally embezzled the money.

It stated that the company was supposed to receive Nu 903,700 from Department of Disaster Management (DDM), Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) and Trashigang dzongkhag but did not deposit it in the company’s account.

The court stated that the defendant was sentenced as per the section 18 (b) of the Penal Code of Bhutan (PCB) and Section 68(2) of Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2011.

The judgment stated that the defendant was terminated from the company in 2012 for misusing the company’s fund and Thimphu district court, in 2014, held him accountable for misusing and embezzling USD 1132.50 from the company’s fund and was ordered to reimburse the amount.

The judgment stated that the company had ordered for a stretcher from the Mayday Industries based in the USA, which actually cost USD 1838.97. “Tashi Choki Dorji had intentionally inflated the invoice of the stretcher after he requested the company to send the invoice of USD 2976.47. He had later transferred USD 1132.50 to his own account maintained with the Bhutan National Bank.”

The judgment also stated that although the defendant denied the allegation and informed the court that he withdrew the amount and gave back to the company after informing the proprietor, the investigation revealed that there was no evidence to prove that he had returned the money.

The case was filed on March 4 last year.

Yangchen C Rinzin