Thinley Namgay  

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged a former general manager of Bhutan Development Bank Limited (BDBL) for her involvement in a fraudulent land price case.

The case was registered in Thimphu dzongkhag court on July 15.

The 54-year-old general manager of the credit department from Bjabcho in Chukha was charged for abuse of function, abuse of privileged information and failure to declare conflict of interest in a land case.

The case that happened in 2008 surfaced in 2011 when an individual complained to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) that his 10 decimal lands in Dhamdara, Phuentsholing was undervalued. 

The individual took a loan of Nu 800,000 from the BDBL in 2008 mortgaging his 10 decimal lands in Dhamdara. BDBL’s land price estimate indicated the land could fetch Nu 1.52 million (M) that time.

However, on April 28, 2010, the individual submitted an application to the managing director of the BDBL stating that he cannot repay the loan and asked BDBL to auction his mortgage land, deduct the loan amount and give him the remaining money.

ACC’s investigation revealed that there were only two bidders during the land auction on September 3, 2011 and one of the bidders is an employee of BDBL and he bided on behalf of the general manager’s brother.

According to the OAG, the employee participated in the auction as per the order of general manager.

The representative of the defendant’s brother bided the land at Nu 870,000 and bought the land, almost 57 percent lesser than the actual price. 

According to the OAG charges, the general manager was one of the members in the auction.  “Before the auctioning of the land, the general manager was supposed to declare the benefit of the land as per the BDBL rules, which she didn’t do to help her brother get the land.”

OAG requested the court to re-auction the land or give the land back to the victim and order the victim to repay the loan.

Edited by Tashi Dema