Yangyel Lhaden

A young woman buys a couple of grocery items in Khasadrapchu,Thimphu, shows a screenshot of payment details on mBoB. She does it again, and, again. She started small but outgrew herself. The tricks up her sleeves failed her one day—and badly.

Blame it on her lust for money. She started with Nu 3,000. When she went big she got caught. That was when she bought a MacBook Pro for Nu 120,000 from a Thimphu shop.

How did all this happen?

Ingenuity is one. Lack of financial knowledge is the other. This is, perhaps, the true picture of a changing society. The direct question is: why are Bhutanese increasingly falling prey to scams and deceptive practices?

Each time she made a purchase, the woman produced screenshot of a transaction record on mBoB that was manipulated.

Rumours were rife that customers could be cheating the shopkeepers. So they started taking down the mBoB journal number on every purchase. That wasn’t enough to head off deceptive debit records from customers.

Two weeks ago, the same woman buys a MacBook Pro from a Thimphu shop. She pays and disappears. Here her trick fails. The shop found that there was something wrong in its sales report.  Nu 120,000 was missing. The shop reported the matter to the police. CCTV showed the woman’s face clearly.

The Thimphu police apprehended the woman on October 1.

Officer in Command (OC), Gembo Penjor, said that the police received verbal complaint from a shop in Khasadrapchu and the search for the young woman had begun. “Most shops were not aware of such practices and the police did not receive many complaints against her until that day,” the OC said.

The police said that she had targeted big, crowded, and busy shops.

What happens now?

The woman will be charge sheeted by the police to the court according to the Penal Code of Bhutan section 309 for deceptive practice.

Section states: “A defendant shall be guilty of the offence of deceptive practice, if the defendant possesses, uses, or sells a false weight, measure or other device for false determination or recording of quality or quantity of a good.”