Lhakpa Quendren

Water Male Tiger Year: Crime – As we usher in 2023, The Water Female Rabbit Year, we look back at the crimes that shocked the nation.

The year will be remembered for a high-profile stabbing of the Investigation Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission by the former Trongsa Dzongdag Lhab Dorji following an altercation outside the courtroom of Supreme Court.

In a major procedural and security lapses that led to this incident, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) took action against 10 police personnel, including officers for failing to execute their duty.

Towards the end of 2022, bodies were discovered in a septic tank in Tsirang-Toed, Tsirang. A man in his 20s had killed his adopted parents in their late 40s and left the 18-year-old son of the couple with severe injuries on the back.

Thirteen detainees escaped from high-security detention centres in Thimphu. While the RBP rearrested all the escapees from different locations, police personnel responsible for security lapses that led to the incident were transferred out of Thimphu and demoted.

The police nabbed 28 students of schools under Thimphu Thromde in a mass brawl on three different occasions. The year also saw the re-emergence of vandalism cases after years when the Namgay Khangzang Chorten in Toedwang Gewog in Punakha was vandalised.

Nganglam Police Station’s officer commanding, Jamyang Dorji, was sentenced to six months in prison for sexually harassing a female constable.

Two heinous crimes, the Paro rape and murder case and Dechencholing Dena Koirala case of Dechencholing in Thimphu continue to remain unsolved.

Drug and cyber-crimes in 2022

The Tiger Year witnessed crimes of almost all sorts rise despite RBP’s fierce crackdowns.

His Majesty The King, during the National Day address, said that drugs and substance abuse poses a huge threat to national security, economy, well-being of the Bhutanese people.

“We must not allow substance abuse to jeopardize their future. Substance abuse is already taking root among our children, and we cannot let it proliferate. We must act now before it is too late, and do whatever it takes to eradicate this threat. Failure is not an option,” His Majesty The King commanded.

Following the National Day address, the RBP intensified its efforts to monitor drug trafficking and consumption cases.

The pandemic gave rise to more online activities. Many Bhutanese were duped through digital business schemes, including pyramid schemes—crowd1, OnPassive, and enagic product distribution and promotion.