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Missing: Australian police in Perth, members of the Bhutanese community and security officials of Curtin University are looking for a 25-year-old Bhutanese student, who went missing since October 12.

Ugyen Wangchuk, who was pursuing his Bachelors of Science (Bsc) in Chemistry in Curtin University, went missing after posting a Facebook status stating he was suffering from brain cancer and that he did not want to live until the disease became chronic. The student had, however, not informed anyone about his medical condition.

Ugyen Wangchuk is on government scholarship. He has been in Perth since 2014.

Officials from the Department of Adult and Higher Education (DAHE) said they are in constant contact with the Bhutanese community, particularly students and Curtin University officials. “We correspond with the Bhutan Embassy in Bangkok every day,” an official said.

Officials also said Curtin University officials told them a police detective team has been assigned since October 15 and police in Perth categorised the case on its priority list. “Police in Australia have issued public notification about the missing case,” an official from DAHE said.

Officials said they were not informed about Ugyen’s medical condition. “The moment we knew about his Facebook status, we wrote to the university and embassy in Bangkok to look into the case,” an official said.

Meanwhile, the Bhutanese community in Perth have come together since October 12 to find the missing student. It was learnt that Bhutanese have been forming groups and visiting the places Ugyen Wangchuk was familiar with.

A Perth resident, Dechen, who was close with the missing student, said it is difficult to look for a missing person without any clue but they are not giving up. “We are hoping that we will find him,” she said.

The Association for Bhutanese in Perth (ABPI) has reported the matter to police. “We have visited hospitals to confirm his medical claim but we could not get anything,” a member of ABPI said. “We are in constant touch with police here.”

It was learnt that although police and friends tried to locate the missing student through his smart phone, the attempt failed, as the location mode on the phone was switched off.

Tashi Dema

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