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The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged Zhemgang’s Goshing gup Sangay Lethro to Panbang drungkhag court on June 4 for alleged embezzlement of more than Nu 10.5M from public fund between 2011 and 2015.

The gup, who is also the Zhemgang dzongkhag tshogdu chairperson, was charged with embezzlement, solicitation and official misconduct.

OAG charged the gup for 27 counts of embezzlement by inflating the bills of Bhutan Oil Corporation (BOC) by colluding with an employee of the fuel depot in Gelephu for the purchase of petrol, oil and lubricants for excavators amounting to more than Nu 4.1M.

The petrol, oil and lubricants were purchased while constructing the gewog connectivity (GC) road and Lamtang – Mewangang farm road.

The gup was accused of colluding with the BOC employees to inflate the actual fuel purchase quantity on the original copy of the cash memos, which were then booked or adjusted against the advances taken by him.

The gup was also charged for six counts of solicitation, as he had made six BOC employees – Chencho Wangmo, Jit Bahadur Sarkit, Mon Bahadur Powal, Mon Bahadur Gurung, Mani Dipar Sarat Gautam and Tsultim Tenzin, to inflate the bills amounting to more than Nu 1.1M.

The gup was also charged with official misconduct for the crime.

Gup Sangay Lethro was charged with nine counts of fraudulent hiring scheme and putting in fake money receipts for embezzlement amounting to more than Nu 3.6M.

He was alleged of hiring machines and trucks from private parties on agreed lump sum price but billing the gewog office on an hourly system and thereby profiting the difference.

The charges also state that he had hired his own tripper and used fuel procured in the gewog office’s name.

The gup was charged with embezzlement by a public servant.

He was also charged with collecting more than Nu 1.1M from 12 farmers, who worked as community contractors for the use of excavator and machines hired from central machinery unit with gewog budget. Sangay Lethro was alleged of not accounting for the money collected from farmers.

He was also charged with embezzling Nu 664,005 by reflecting ghost workers in the muster roll payments.

Gup Sangay Lethro was charged for making fraudulent claims of Nu 994,948 while awarding the GC road drain construction.

He was also charged with official misconduct by awarding the drain construction work to Rinchen Construction without following proper procedures and taking money.

The six BOC employees are charged for participation in the crime.

While Mon Bahadur Sarkit was charged for one count of participation in the crime, amounting to Nu 187,466, Mon Bahadur Powel was charged for 13 counts of participation of crime amounting to more than Nu 1.6M.

Mon Bahadur Gurung was also charged for one count of participation in the crime amounting to Nu 249,100. Mani Dipar Sarat Gautam was charged with five counts of participation in the crime amounting to Nu 587,848.

Tsultim Tenzin was charged with six counts of participation in the crime amounting to more than Nu 1.1M. Chencho Wangmo was charged for one count of participation in the crime amounting to Nu 317,433.

OAG also charged a contractor, Rinchen Drakpa, who is also the former Nangkhor gup, for nine counts of participation in the crime of a public servant in embezzling public fund amounting to more than Nu 3.6M.

Meanwhile, OAG also submitted to court that gup Sangay Lethro must restitute the Nu 10.5M to the government.

Tashi Dema

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