The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged two men for attempting to exchange counterfeit US dollars to the Paro dzongkhag court on November 2.

The men, Sonam Dorji, 31, from Thimphu and Tshering, 44, from Punakha were arrested for the alleged crime on May 8 this year in Paro.

According to section 134 of the Bhutan Penal Code they are liable for a fourth-degree felony with prison term ranging from three years in prison to five years. However, OAG’s lawyer stated in the charges that they would be subject to half of the imprisonment term, as they were caught before they could commit the crime.

The charges stated that police arrested them following a tip-off from an informant that the men were distributing counterfeit USD 100 notes near the Ugyen Pelri Palace in Paro.

Police arrested Sonam Dorji near the palace and interrogated him. He told police that he took the notes from Tshering.

According to his statement to Paro police, the two were friends and since 2015 Tshering had bought cordyceps twice from public auctions worth USD 32,000 and sold them in Tibet.

On the third instance, Tshering claimed that he sent a consignment worth USD 40,100 to Tibet and the payment for it turned out to be counterfeit notes.

The two then planned to exchange the dollars, 401 USD 100 notes, after dividing the notes between them.

Sonam Dorji was about to exchange the notes when police arrested him.

OAG attorney submitted to court that the two individuals despite knowing that the notes were fake attempted to exchange them and deceive people.

Tshering Palden