Royal Bhutan Police will pay Nu 100,000 as a reward for information leading to detection and arrest of suspects involved in the theft of 108 barrels (two truckloads) of bitumen from Bjeepam in Trongsa.

The incident occurred on the night of October 4.

A project manager with Druk Lhayul Construction who was looking after the road widening work at Bjeepam, about two to three kilometres from Bjeezam towards Wangdue reported the case to police the next day.

According to police, the barrels were kept beside the road. “There was no one at the site when the incident occurred.”

The project manager, Kunzang Wangdi, said that he received the barrels of bitumen from the supplier on September 3 after the company’s general manager asked him to. “It was not for the Trongsa highway but for the Nabji-Korphu gewog centre road, which was the general manager’s site.”

“I asked him to come and take the barrels and now it is lost,” he said.

He said the barrels were kept at a place called Singye Bja, below the viewpoint in Trongsa. “I kept the barrels there because I can see the site from my workplace.”

Kunzang Wangdi said that they couldn’t work on October 4 because their drilling machine broke down the day before. But, he and some of his workers were at the site until 5:30pm. “Three of us were repairing the compressing machine.”

“We were asked to stop the road cutting work at Singye Bja until the election is over because it could cause roadblocks and cause inconvenience to the travellers. So, we have diverted our machinery and excavators to another site,” he said. “Otherwise, we work during the night also.”

Around 5:30pm, another construction company from whom Kunzang Wangdi borrowed the compressing pipe asked him to return it. “We went to return the pipe. The barrels were there when we  were returning from Singye Bja”

Next morning, Kunzang Wangdi said that he and two of his workers who were on their way to their site noticed that the barrels were missing. “I asked my two workers who were with me in the car not to go near the area and immediately reported the case to police.”

A woman lives about 500 metres from the place where the barrels were kept. “We asked her if she had seen or heard anything. she said she didn’t.”

Kunzang Wangdi said that there were footprints and tire marks of a truck or tripper at the site. “Looking at the footprints, it seems they did not use any machine to load the barrels.”

The RBP requests the people to provide information on the case. People are requested to contact 17931898 / 77352015 or the nearest police station.

Dechen Tshomo