The Office of the Attorney General is having a perplexing time with a part of the Bangkok Embassy case being forwarded to them from the Royal Audit Authority (RAA) while a major part of the case is under investigation with the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).
Sources in the OAG office say that the concerned officials working on the case have been having a difficult time trying to understand the case since there are many people involved.
The Bangkok embassy involves Nu 18mn in unpaid bills to prominent hospitals in Bangkok for Bhutanese government patients. The main officer Chenda Topgay claimed to have suffered a memory loss earlier.
In December 2011, the ministry came forward to explain the case; however, the OAG officials still did not get a satisfactory explanation.
Currently Chenda Topgay’s case is with the Anti Corruption Commission’s (ACC) but Yeshey Dorji’s case has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) by the Royal Audit Authority (RAA).
A source in the OAG office said that the Bangkok embassy case will have to be merged into one and that the ACC and the OAG will have work on the case together, otherwise the case would still be very confusing without adequate information.
Although the Chenda Topgay’s case was forwarded to ACC by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the ministry has not been forth coming with information. The OAG has sought the ministry’s help in getting better explanation on the Yeshey Dorji case.
Yeshey Dorji’s involvement in the Bangkok Embassy case is due to the fact that he had not kept proper accounts of the embassy’s financial bills. As soon as the money reached the embassy, Chenda Topgay used to withdraw them.
The Bangkok embassy case first came to light in 2010, when the RAA had detected cash shortage of Nu 2.391mn during the audit of the embassy at Bangkok. This shortage had occurred due to the understatement of cash balances in the cash book.
Currently, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is still waiting for the embassy to submit the reports on the statement of the fund status.
Earlier, this year, the ministry had released Nu 18mn as funds for outstanding medical bills in Bangkok pertaining to the former head of Chancery, Chenda Topgay’s case.
The releasing of the fund was done on the basis of saving the country’s image or else the hospitals in Bangkok was going to sue the Royal Government of Bhutan for the outstanding bills that had not been cleared.
The amount was to be routed through the Royal Bhutan Embassy in Bangkok.
The officials of the Bangkok Embassy have managed to collect reports from all the hospitals except for two.
According to the MoF, only after the embassy receives the statements from the remaining two hospitals, only then will it be able to submit a completed report.
The head of the AFD, MoF, Sonam Wangdi said they were still unaware on the status of the Nu 18mn fund, “we are yet to know whether the clearing of the outstanding bills have exceeded the fund or if it has been less,” said Sonam Wangdi.
It was reported that more than Nu 18mn bills had been unsettled in various hospitals and in the inclusion of the bills were of that several private individuals.
Since the funds were released on behalf of Chenda Topgay, he will have to refund the amount to the ministry, or else the government will take necessary actions against the former Chancery.
Chenda Topgay was suspended by the ministry for not reporting to work and Yeshey Dorji has been transferred somewhere in southern Bhutan. Both were unavailable for comment.