Crime: Six men have been arrested for circulating a photograph of a naked 15-year-old boy on the mobile application, WeChat.

A 29-year-old monk from Dagana was arrested on March 9 after a 20-year-old high school student in Thimphu reported to police that an obscene photograph of his brother was being shared on WeChat.

The high school student’s uncle told the student that he had seen a photograph of his speech-impaired nephew on one of his friend’s WeChat accounts.

Five police personnel were also found to have been involved in sharing the photograph. They were suspended from duty and arrested on March 24.

However, all six are released on bail.

According to the monk’s statement to police, he was washing utensils at the common water tap in Hejo in Thimphu when the victim came to take a shower.

The monk splashed cold water on the victim’s head to wash away dirt. The victim ran from the spot in panic.

Another man held and hugged the boy from behind, near a shop when the monk who also ran after the boy took a picture.

Later, the monk sent the photograph to two of his friends, another monk and police personnel. The police personnel circulated the photograph to four other police personnel.

“Since the suspect’s monk friend did not circulate the photograph to anyone else, he was not arrested,” a police official said.

Section 476 of the Penal Code of Bhutan states that “a defendant shall be guilty of the offense of computer pornography, if the defendant publishes and distributes an obscene photograph or picture on the computer; or over the internet of an internet service provider, who knowingly acts as a host for pornographic material or acts as a channel for the image to be transmitted to an individual user.

Thimphu police are also investigating a burglary case in Lungtenphu.

According to the Bhutan Broadcasting Service (BBS), seven men allegedly stole two elephant tusks from a house at Lungtenphu on March 24. They are under detention. The suspects include three police personnel, one army personnel, two civilians and a security guard of Jachung Security Service at the house where the incident took place.

Dechen Tshomo