English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 23, 2020

Investigation into internet scam launched

Aug 28, 2011

An investigation has been launched into an internet scam that has cheated unsuspecting people of millions of Ngultrums.

The scams known as Unipay2u and Visa are reportedly active in the eastern districts.

A team comprising of officials from the Royal Bhutan Police, the Royal Monetary Authority, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Local Government are investigating the scam.

In Mongar, around 150 people have fallen victim to the scam. Together, they have lost an estimated Nu.10 million. The victims in Trashigang have been cheated of Nu.10 million. The scam has even penetrated remote Lhuentse district where people have lost around a million Ngultrums.

The two scams lure people by offering 100 percent returns on the investment they make within a short period of time.

Budhi Maya, a victim in Monggar district, described how she was lured into the scam.

“I joined in May 2010 through a friend and invested Nu.51,000. For the first four months, I got my monthly returns without fail. I thought I could get more. So I borrowed money from the bank and invested more. In total, I sent Nu.600, 000. I got nothing in return.”

Padey, another victim in Monggar, has lost Nu.100, 000. Although she got very little in return, she considers herself lucky that she has found out about the scam before she lost more money.

“Initially, they paid us. We were happy. Later I heard that the website was not working.”

Jigme Tenzin, an elderly farmer in Chali, has lost his entire saving.

“They told me that I would be getting Nu.10, 000 for ten months. I asked for legal documents but they said it was not required. I don’t know if I will ever get my money back,” he said.

Some of the victims are blaming those who introduced them to the scheme. But those who introduced others to the scheme are also victims themselves.

Reportedly, a few farmers had even sold their land to invest in the scheme.

The team will be conducting their investigation in Monggar, Trashiyangtse, Lhuentse, Samdrupjonkhar and Trashigang.

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