Phuentsholing drungkhag court convicted the former regional director of revenue and customs office in Phuentsholing for fronting on April 23.

Choyzang Trashi was convicted of illegally leasing three trade licenses to non-Bhutanese and taking commission. The court ordered him to restitute a total of Nu 410,416 to the state within three months from the day the judgment was rendered.

He was found guilty of renting two trade licenses that were issued to Tee Dee Enterprise to a non-Bhutanese, Rajiv Bhansali and collected a commission of Nu 215,416.

The judgment stated that he violated section 6.1 (a, b) of the general guidelines for industrial and commercial ventures in Bhutan 1997 and section 3 of the rules and regulations for establishment and operation of industrial and commercial ventures in Bhutan 1995.

The provisions of the guidelines mandate the licensee to run the business and restrict the licensee from leasing it to another person in any form or manner.

The court ordered Choyzang Tashi to restitute the Nu 215,416 collected as commission for the lease to the state and pay Nu 20,000 as penalty for breaching the rules by leasing the two licenses.

Choyzang Tashi rented Sonam Beer Agent license, registered in his mother-in-law Sonam Zangmo’s name to Sunil Aggarwal between 2007 and 2009 and received Nu 155,000. He will have to pay Nu 165,000 and the court cancelled the license.

The defendant also received Nu 177,500 as commission from leasing the trade license of Yeshi Cement Agent, registered in his wife Yeshi Zangmo’s name to Rajiv Bhansali. He was fined Nu 10,000 for breaching the rules.

Choyzang Tashi’s sister-in-law Tenzin Dolkar, the second defendant in the case, received Nu 168,000 from leasing another trade license to a person called Rajinder Singh Pal. The court ordered her to restitute the amount to the state within a month from the date of the judgment.

The third defendant Rajiv Bhansali did not report to the court for the trial.

The judgment stated that the Office of the Attorney General had proven beyond reasonable doubt that he had leased the beer agent license to Rajinder Singh Pal and lifted beer worth Nu 100,000 as commission.

Since the defendant had been bailed with Nu 3,212,313 as his bail amount, the court ordered that the Nu 110,000 be deducted from the bail money and the rest returned to the defendant.

The court cancelled the trade licenses.

Phuentsholing drungkhag court sentenced Choyzang Tashi to one year in prison for 15 counts of forgery in October last year.

The former regional director, while serving in Phuentsholing from 2002 to 2007, forged signatures to obtain trade license of Tee Dee Enterprise in his sister-in-law, Tenzin Dolkar’s name, forged her signatures to obtain license for Tee Dee Cement Agent, and later to change it to his wife Yeshi Zangmo’s name. He forged his wife’s signature. The licenses were leased to non-Bhutanese to operate with a commission.

Tshering Palden