The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is in the process of compiling a report after it investigated the alleged loan scam involving People’s Democratic Party (PDP) workers in Tsirang.
The investigation was carried out after the Opposition Leader (OL) Pema Gyamtsho (PhD) on January 4 requested the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) for a thorough investigation on the alleged loan scam.
It is alleged that PDP workers were involved in operating a fake Rural Enterprise Development Corporation (REDCL) agent in Tsirang and duping people by promising loan and collecting fees illegally.
The agent operated from the People’s Democratic Party office in Damphu.
The office in Damphu had allegedly distributed loan application forms claiming it to be that of REDCL to the public of Tsirang and Dagana and collected Nu 300 as registration fees per applicant.
A villager from Semjong gewog, Karna Bahadur Subba, said that all complainants met OAG officials in the gewog centre for few hours earlier this month.
He said each complainant was asked for details. “We told them whatever troubled us and we’re happy that the case is being investigated.”
The investigation was carried out gewog wise by meeting the complainants in the gewog centre.
Karna Bahadur added that villagers are looking forward to a positive finding and that their money is refunded.
Villagers alleged that four local residents of Tsirang, who are also PDP party workers, came to the villages and encouraged them to apply for a loan that would be given at four percent interest with 18 months grace period.
A total of 73 groups, comprising of 407 farmers, became members of the agent.
Villagers say all groups applied for loans but applicants neither received the loan nor a refund.
In a recent meeting with the editors, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay said that as soon as the complaint was lodged, the government immediately directed the OAG to investigate.
Lyonchhen Tshering Tobgay said although he is aware that the OAG is investigating, he doesn’t know how and when the investigation is done.
He said that he informed OAG that it is their responsibility to investigate and that they do it thoroughly. “I told them to investigate properly but not to share the findings of the investigation with me.”
The Prime Minister said that after a thorough investigation is conducted and if there are findings that are against the law, things should be done according to the law. “If the case has to go to the court, it should be done according to the OAG’s mandate, without having to seek my permission.”
Nirmala Pokhrel | Tsirang