Many fell victim to a woman’s elaborate scheming

Rinzin Wangchuk 

Thimphu police are investigating a nexus of fraudulent practices involving illegal private money lending and land transactions between 2018 and 2021 and recently detained three men after a 34-year-old woman was arrested in February this year.

The woman, Yangki, who is a proprietor of a real estate firm, actress and a producer, allegedly duped and robbed many innocent families functioning as a “middlewoman” for the so-called loan shark. Her husband too was detained recently.

There are several criminal cases booked against her after passing judgments of more than seven civil cases from lower courts to the Supreme Court, according to investigating officers.

In one case involving Yangki, a couple in Dangrina, Dechencholing, and a 75-year-old woman and her daughter in Babesa, Thimphu, became homeless and landless and one couple lost their land in Paro after falling victim to Yangki’s elaborate scheming together with a broker.

All this started with the illegal private money-lending business.

Courts at various levels heard the civil cases and ruled in favour of Yangki and her clients. Some cases were resolved through the court’s annexed mediation (nangkha nangdri). However, it was learnt that Yangki and her partners submitted forged documents and fake sale deeds, executed between the parties, before the courts to prove that the transactions were carried out legally.

The nexus surfaced following the enforcement of court verdicts. For instance, a landowner in Dangrina, Karma, had two plots – 15 decimal and 43 decimal. Later, the 43-decimal land was fragmented into two plots – 14.8 decimals and 28.2 decimals. Karma had a two-storied building on the 28.2 decimal land in his name.

Yangki allegedly colluded with Karma’s wife and sold 28.2 decimals to four different buyers using the old lagthram (land ownership certificate) copy of the 43-decimal land. The actual buyer was Choden, a woman who returned from Australia.

Yangki was arrested after Karma, who became homeless after the court’s ruling, lodged a complaint to the police in February that he had never sold his land. He complained following the enforcement of judgment during which he refused to vacate his house. Karma was detained about two months and later released on bail.

However, Karma’s wife Namgay is still in police custody for not complying with court’s order in a land transaction case she was involved in.

Kuensel learnt that police took suo motu action based on the complaint, which led to a chain of cases involving the woman, businessmen, brokers and a contractor.


How it happened

Karma needed money. A middleman introduced him to Yangki. Since he wanted money, they signed an agreement to show that the 15-decimal plot was sold to Yangki for Nu 5.2 million (M). The agreement was meant for money-lending. However, on the sale deed, the price was reflected as Nu 1.815M with seven percent monthly interest and the balance amount of Nu 3.385M to be paid later.

Yangki claimed that she had given Nu 0.9M in cash and a cheque of Nu 0.915 including Nu 315,000 in interest to the borrower and Nu 100,000 to the broker as commission.

However, Karma claimed that he received only Nu 0.6M and the investigation team found that the cheque was not withdrawn from the bank. Two witnesses also confirmed that Karma borrowed Nu 0.6M only. But they submitted that they were not aware if the land transaction had taken place.

Yangki told the borrower to repay the money after maturing three months repayment period. But Karma could not repay her.


Couple loses 15  decimal land

Sometime in March 2019, Yangki deceitfully influenced Namgay to sell their 15-decimal land, which already was sold on paper (a sale deed was entered), when Karma borrowed Nu 0.6M.

She had already collected all the required documents and lagthram from the owner to process for transaction.

Meanwhile, a broker from Paro found a Bhutanese woman called Wangmo in Australia interested in buying the land. Wangmo made a deal that she would pay Nu 4.5M as advance and the balance Nu 1.5M would be paid after transferring the ownership in her name.

After receiving Nu 4.5M from the buyer, the broker and Yangki took the cash to Karma’s house and a sale deed was signed.

From Nu 4.5M, the woman handed over Nu 0.4M and a cheque for Nu 0.6M to the broker as his commission. Instead of Karma, Yangki issued a money receipt authenticating the payment received.  The money was not paid to Karma.

Wangmo sent the balance amount of Nu 1.5M after transferring the ownership of the plot in her name. In the meantime, Karma’s brother got wind of some fishy land transactions.

Sources say that the brother inquired about the transaction. By that time, Yangki had already brainwashed Namgay, who showed the money receipts to her brother-in-law as proof that they sold the land.

Police’s investigation revealed that there were two money receipts – one issued by Yangki and another by Namgay. However, Karma claimed that he did not receive money other than the Nu 0.6M he borrowed from Yangki.

It was also learnt that the cost of the land was reflected as Nu 6M in the original sale deed. However, it was reflected as Nu 2M in the fresh sale deed executed in April 2019. “Maybe they reduced the amount to Nu 2M to evade tax,” one investigation officer said.

Wangmo, who sent money from Australia, became the legitimate land owner of the 15 decimal.

Colluding with Namgay, Yangki then sold 28.2 decimal land to different buyers. 

See second part in tomorrow’s issue