After six months of follow up, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) in Phuentsholing has retrieved a bolero (single cabin) that was stolen in April this year.

The bolero had gone missing on April 24 along with the owner. The owner of the vehicle, a 26-year-old man from Ketokha, Bongo in Chukha was found dead, allegedly murdered in a jungle in Hasimara on May 6.

This case is one of the most successful pursuits by the RBP Phuentsholing as all the six suspects, two Bhutanese, and four from across the border were apprehended. The case has been charge-sheeted and the suspects are moved to Thimphu for further court proceedings.

Officer commanding in Phuentsholing, Ugyen Tshewang said that the police have been following the case in collaboration with Jaigaon police.

“The vehicle was found in Bhim Nagar, an Indian town that borders Nepal,” he said, adding that the chase was carried as per the information given by the suspects.

The vehicle was brought to Phuentsholing on October 13 from Jaigaon. The vehicle reached Jaigaon on September 25.

As the vehicle was insured with the Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Limited (RICBL), two officials from the insurance company had also gone to Bhim Nagar to bring the vehicle back after police information.

General manager with RICBL, Kinga Thinley, who went to Bhim Nagar to settle court formalities said the case, was the first in which an insured stolen vehicle got retrieved. “Our office has paid insurance claims for at least eight boleros stolen from Phuentsholing,” he said.

He said that it was not an easy task. “However, it was a good experience,” he said. “RICBL is thankful to the RBP.”

Kinga Thinley, meanwhile, said that vehicle dealers should rethink on the security system of boleros so that people are not affected.

Bolero is the top target for carjackers in Phuentsholing. According to some sources, boleros are targeted because its key-lock combination is not “very complex.” Its key also has fewer combinations. A robber would not have to spend more than Nu 2,000 to buy a lock assembly and start the vehicle and drive away, another source said.

Phuentsholing police has also been battling bolero theft cases since 2015. About 17 boleros have been stolen so far from the border town.

Until September 9 this year, the main gate in the town did not have CCTV cameras. But today, there are four CCTV cameras that monitor the gate both ways.

For better and safe examining, police have now started to register exit of bolero vehicles from the gate. Officer commanding Ugyen Tshewang said that local boleros that make several entries and exits are provided tokens. “The token would confirm who is the owner,” he said.

The retrieved bolero was handed over to RICBL yesterday.

Rajesh Rai | Phuentsholing