English | Dzongkha Tuesday, November 12, 2019

ACC implicates two officials of Thimphu Thromde and a bitumen company


Oct 16, 2019

The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) is charging an engineer and a procurement officer of Thimphu Thromde and the Bhutan Bitumen Industries Pvt Ltd. for alleged collusion, bribery, active bribery of foreign public servants and tax evasion.

The officials allegedly colluded with the Bhutan Bitumen Industries Pvt Ltd. in Phuntshogling to benefit from the undersupply of bitumen emulsion to Thimphu Thromde.

The two thromde officials placed an order for 75 barrels of bitumen emulsion to the bitumen company but the company was asked to retain 25 barrels and asked for Nu 75,000 to be deposited in their accounts.

The thromde officials verified the bills for the 75 barrels and made full payment to the bitumen company. The investigation found that the bitumen company had deposited Nu 75,000 into the officials’ account. This happened during the second supply order of bitumen and the same happened during the third supply order of bitumen of 75 barrels. The engineer and the procurement officer are therefore charged for two counts of the offence of abuse of functions and three officials of the Bhutan Bitumen Industries Pvt Ltd. for two counts of offence of participation in an offence under the Anti Corruption Act of Bhutan.

It was also established that the Bhutan Bitumen Industries Pvt Ltd. had bribed foreign public officials of Sikkim Government with Nu 3 M to extend their market.  The company further created a fictitious company in India to cover up the payments made to others. The ACC, therefore, established that the bitumen company had evaded tax by inflating their expenses.

The Bhutan Bitumen Industries Pvt Ltd. is charged for ten counts of the offence of active bribery of foreign public servants and three counts of tax evasion under the Penal Code of Bhutan 2004.

The commission stated that the officials and companies involved should be made to restitute the amount to the government. The case has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General.

Kinley Dema

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