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Court sentences 12 former employees of BNBL to a year in prison for forgery

May 4, 2021

The Thimphu District Court sentenced 12 former employees of Bhutan National Bank Limited to a year in prison for forgery. The judgment which was passed today convicted them of forging their documents to apply for the post of support staff in BNBL. However, they can pay in lieu of the prison term within ten days.

In April 2017 and February 2018, the bank announced the vacancy for the post of support staff through print media. A total of over 500 applicants applied in both the year. Later, 15 staff were recruited for various posts. The criteria required the applicant to have a class VIII pass qualification with 50 per cent for 2017 recruitment and 55 per cent for 2018 recruitment. The selection criteria were also based on viva. However, the bank’s Executive Management Committee headed by the former CEO later received an anonymous letter stating about the forged mark sheets.

The bank then made six of their employees out of 15 staff who worked for one and a half year to resign from services with benefits instead of terminating. The BNBL had paid retirement benefits amounting to more than Nu 153,000 for six staff in contravention to the Human Resource Policy Manual 2016. The bank instead of terminating services of those staff who had been recruited based on forged documents had asked the employees to put up resignation letters, which were then accepted and employees relieved from service with benefits.

Four staff resigned without service benefits since they were in probation period. The case came into the limelight after the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) conducted their annual auditing of the bank.

Following the findings, police conducted an investigation last year. In the due process of investigation by the police, it was found that 12 people from the 15 recruited forged their documents. The case was then forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in October last year.

However, the probable charges of official misconduct and failure to report the crime against the bank’s Executive Management Committee were dropped by the OAG after a review due to lack of evidence.

Tshering Zam/Kinley Dem

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