Thimphu police are still looking for the two suspects who impersonated forest officials and seized 5 kg of cordyceps from three men from Wangduephodrang on 27 July. The three men were in Thimphu to sell their cordyceps.
Although the initial incident took place on 27 July, however the men reported to the police only on 30 July. According to the police said, as the three men were making a deal on the cordyceps sale at around 8 AM with a customer in an apartment in Langjophaka. A deal was reached to sell 1 kg of cordyceps for Nu 900,000 to a 38-year-old customer.
It was then that the two suspects showed up in forestry official’s uniform each to make an ad hoc confiscation of the 5 kg cordyceps. After which they asked the three men to report to their office on 3 August.
The two suspects left them a piece of paper with their names and phone number on it. The three men thought that it was a seizure memo, the police added.
Talking to a forest official from the forest division, the three men had come to the division asking to check if the two suspects are indeed forest officials who seized their cordyceps that day. However, after cross checking, it was learnt that the two suspects were impersonators.
He said, “We told them that it is the case of impersonation and to approach the police.” He also said that they only had a collection permit, whereby they can auction it only in nearby places at the given time.
“If they fail to sell it during the auction time, they need to get Certificate of Original (CO) with which they can do face-to- face dealing,” he added. Nevertheless, he said that the auction time is not yet over and there is no way they can have CO to make a deal.
“It is an illegal business and may be this is why they panicked at once and handed over the cordyceps to the suspects,” the forest official added.
It is learnt that the customer usually conducted deals in his own apartment, however, on 27 July he had the three men come over for the deal in his friend’s apartment in Lanjophaka. The Police detained the customer on 30 July, however, he got bailed out the next day, and the case is still under investigation. For now the case is booked under larceny by deception, but police said that the nature of crime may differ with further investigation.