Gamblers arrested

A majority of the lot comprised of civil servants

The Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) in Wangduephodrang have arrested 23 people in the last few months for the offence of gambling that included mainly civil servants, private employees, and businessmen.

RBP has informed the Royal Civil Service Commission (RCSC) of cases involving civil servants, to which the commission has issued a notification on June 5 on the need to abide by the Civil Servants’ Code of Conduct and Ethics prescribed in the BCSR 2012.

Despite the notifications, it seems to have less impact on the civil servants, going by the number of arrests made by police so far.

Section 3.2.3 of the BCSR reads, “A civil servant shall maintain Driglam Namzhag, official decorum and refrain from indulging in gambling or other habits and behavior that affect one’s performance of official duties and /or tarnish the image of the Civil Service”.

RCSC during its 184th meeting held on June 4, this year decided to urge all the civil servants to refrain from gambling and other similar activities that may undermine one’s position as a civil servant.

Breach of these rules, as reported by the police or any other sources with credible charges against a civil servant, would compel RCSC or the concerned agencies to administrative actions against the person.

In past few months, Wangduephodrang police have arrested 23 people in connection to gambling cases from five different locations across Bajothang town.

Five of them have been given five months sentencing, while one was sentenced to two months and 15 days on the criminal charge of aiding and abetting.

Meanwhile, the other suspects are currently facing the trial though they were released on bail.

The suspects were involved in playing cards and dice (parala).

The total amount of cash seized from the scenes amounted to more than Nu 0.1mn from five different groups.

According to the police, the gamblers were contractors, civil servants, private employees, businessmen and drivers. The tip off to the police, of the gambling, is supposed to have been made by relatives of the suspects.

This is the first major arrest made by the police this year in connection to gambling.

Under the Penal Code of Bhutan, the offence of gambling is classified as a petty misdemeanor.

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