Thimphu police are investigating a case of larceny of cordyceps by deception.

The incident happened on the morning of July 27 when three men, all from Wangduephodrang who brought five kilograms of cordyceps were in an apartment in Langjophakh, Thimphu with a customer.

According to their statements to police, the men were negotiating a deal with the customer when two men in uniform claiming to be forest officers seized the cordyceps saying they were doing illegal business.

According to police, one of the three men knew the 38-year-old customer who they claim to be into cordyceps business. The customer is also from Wangduephodrang and stays in Thimphu with his relatives. The apartment belongs to the customer’s friend, a businessman.

It was learnt that the men collected the cordyceps from villagers in their village, Kazhi in Wangduephodrang and brought it to Thimphu. They were making a deal to sell a kilogram of cordyceps for Nu 900,000.

The men first met the customer for business the day before the incident happened, according to police.

On interrogation, the apartment owner told police that his friend, the customer, usually makes his business deals at his apartment as he is out of station most of the time.

Police detained the customer for interrogation on the night of July 30. He got bailed the next day.

A police official said they are yet to verify the identity of the two men claiming to be forest officers. “We are also yet to verify if they are forest officials.”

The three men told police that they went to the Department of Forests and Park Services the next day after the incident but were told that the office had not received any seizures of cordyceps. They were told that if the office had made any seizures then the forest officials would issue a seizure memo.

A police official said that the two men claiming to be forest officials gave a paper to the men. “Nothing was written on the paper other than the victims’ name and their contact numbers.”

The official said that the case charges may change with investigation.

Dechen Tshomo