Crime: A 34-year-old man from Tsimasham was arrested on October 31 from Phuentsholing for deceiving shopkeepers in Thimphu.

The man bought groceries, clothes and furniture, among others, and instead of paying cash, he gave them cheque without sufficient balance in his account.

A shopkeeper in Taba said that the man purchased grocery items worth more than Nu 17,000 from her shop about two months ago and gave her a cheque.

“I told him that I don’t accept cheque but he said that he doesn’t carry cash,” said the shopkeeper. It was Saturday and she could not check if he had balance in his account.

The shopkeeper reported the case to police after she found that she had been cheated. However, the Penal Code’s section 305 (b) states that an issuer [of the cheque] is presumed to know that the cheque will not be honored by the drawer if the issuer knows that the fund with the drawer is insufficient to cover the cheque and payment is refused by the drawer for lack of funds upon presentation within 30 days after the issue, and the issuer fails to make good within 60 days after receiving notice of that refusal. The man could not be arrested so.

After a few days, the shopkeeper saw the man purchasing goods in one of the shops in the town. She dragged the man to the police and they made an agreement saying that the man will have to pay the shopkeeper the amount on September 7. After that, the man never responded to the shopkeeper’s calls.

Another shopkeeper reported a fraud case against the man yesterday, adding to a total of seven cases reported against the man so far. The man issued Bhutan National Bank and Bhutan Development Bank cheques amounting between Nu 8,500 and Nu 39,000.

Since there are other reported cases against the man, Thimphu police arrested the man so that he doesn’t cheat more shopkeepers, a police said. “Shopkeepers who have been cheated and not reported the case to police can still come and report to police.” The man has duped shopkeepers of more than Nu 200,000.

The case is under investigation and the man will be charged for the offence of deceptive practice.

Dechen Tshomo