Crime: With the arrest of two suspects on January 30, Paro police detained six men for alleged involvement in burglary, illegal sale and purchase of antiques.

Police said a 40-year-old Paro resident complained to the police on the night of November 27 last year that his house in Bondey had been robbed. The complainant claimed a small sized ‘sago namgo dzee (cat’s eye), the zung of a Buddha statue from his altar, was missing.

A police official said that the complainant was not sure if he lost other things from the house when he reported the incident to police. “We found some fingerprints and an old dragger (patang) at the crime scene,” the official said.

Upon investigation, the complainant’s wife mentioned about a former monk, who performs annual rituals in the victim’s house every year, inspecting the house prior to the incident.

Police claimed that the 35-year-old former monk, who is their prime suspect,  refused to the allegation initially. “We learned through his phone conversation record that he had instructed his brother, in early 20s, to wrap three Buddha statues in a monk robe and dispose it in a mushroom farm that belongs to one of the complainant’s relative in Bondey.

A police officer said that the prime suspect had asked his brother to write the name of another relative of the complainant, who is a monk, on the robe along with the relative’s number and an electricity bill in the name of the relative to deceive the investigation officers.

“The prime suspect thought that if the relative is arrested then the complainant would withdraw the case since the relative is close to the complainant,” the official said.

Police claimed that after they found the phone conversation record, the suspect confessed that he entered the altar of the house when the complainant’s wife was in the sitting room of a three-storey traditional house.

The prime suspect and his brother were arrested a week after the complaint was lodged.

According to their statements, the prime suspect sold three Buddha statues to a man who sold two statues to another man. The third suspect was arrested two days after the former monk and his brother’s arrest. A week after the third arrest, police nabbed the fourth suspect.

It is alleged that the dzee was sold to a resident in Paro, who sold to a man who then took it to Nepal and sold it to a Chinese.

The fifth and sixth suspects were detained on January 30 after the dzee was recovered.

Police claimed that all the stolen items, which includes the dzee and 10 statues, were recovered.

Dechen Tshomo