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Thimphu dzongkhag court convicts six, including home minister

Home Minister sentenced to two months in prison

Lyonpo Sherup Gyaltshen

August 28, 2019

Younten Tshedup

Thimphu dzongkhag court’s criminal bench I convicted Home Minister Sherub Gyeltshen to two months in prison for claiming false vehicle insurance worth Nu 226,546.

According to the judgment passed yesterday, the statements shared by Lyonpo on claiming insurance for his vehicle were inconsistent in nature.

Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen in his intimation letter to Royal Insurance Corporation of Bhutan Ltd (RICBL) stated that his Toyota Prado met with an accident at Lamperi on the Thimphu-Wangdue highway on July 21, 2016.

In another statement Lyonpo claimed that his car engine malfunctioned when it was on the way to Mongar.

There were no proves to indicate the accident actually happened, the judgment stated.

It was then when the former executive director (ED) of RICBL, Sonam Dorji offered his help to claim insurance on the Lyonpo’s vehicle. Knowing that Lyonpo was not eligible for the insurance claim, the two then decided make a false claim.

For submitting false letter to make insurance claims, Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen is charged of fraud under section 311 of the Penal Code of Bhutan.

The section states that a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of fraudulent obtaining of insurance, if the defendant presents a false statement as part of an application for commercial or personal insurance or as part of claim for payment on a commercial or personal insurance policy.

The offence is graded petty misdemeanor and can pay thrimthue in lieu of prison terms.

He is also asked to refund the full amount to the insurance company through the Office of Attorney General (OAG).

The former executive director, Sonam Dorji is charged with two offences of misusing his position. He is charged of changing the insurance cover of Lyonpo’s vehicle insurance from third-party to comprehensive scheme. He had also asked his subordinates to change the scheme without inspecting the vehicle and giving Lyonpo Sherub Gyeltshen a claim of Nu 226,546.

For the two counts of misuse of position, Sonam Dorji is convicted for one year, which is graded misdemeanor.

RICBL’s general manager, Sangay Wangdi was also sentenced to six months in prison for solicitation and asking inspection officer, Ugyen Namdrol to get blank cash receipts from an automobile workshop to adjust the claims.

Ugyen Namdrol is charged for forgery and deceptive practice. He is charged for fetching a blank receipt to adjust claims of Nu 125,746. He was also a member of the claims committee and signed the resolution deceiving the committee to pay the claimant. He is sentenced for one year.

Another RICBL official, Sangay Dorji is also sentenced for one month for aiding and abetting as he signed the committee resolution despite knowing that the claim violated the company’s rules.

The proprietor of Dagap workshop, Yonten Phuntsho is also charged for aiding and abetting as he allegedly gave the cash receipt to Ugyen Namdrol despite knowing that it is not allowed. He is sentenced to six months.

The convicts can appeal in the next 10 working days.


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