The parents of the youths entangled in the infamous Bhutan Employment Overseas (BEO) Learn and Earn (LEP) Program will be filing a civil case against the BEO agent for recovery of money.
The parents’ representative, Sonam Tshering, said they have decided to file a civil case against the BEO agents after they appealed to the High Court.
He said most of the 400 youth are from poor financial backgrounds, and they are still not able to pay off their loans. The main issue is with the loans, and they are not happy with the district court verdict against Jurmey Tshewang and Tenzin Rigden because these youths were duped and swindled and the verdict does not mention any financial compensation.
They shared that BEO agents should be penalized more than what the verdict had stated, and their main concern is not so much their jail time as it is with the money they lost.
The parents and youth are to gather soon to file the civil case. There are also youths in Japan who want to support the decision. Sonam Tshering said that the youth who went through BEO agents are still struggling to get a proper job till today, and they are not able to pay off their loans. Earlier the parents and the youth decided to file both criminal and civil cases together, but they were advised to file the civil case separately.
The parents’ representative also said that the banks know that as per the verdict, the youth were given loans by forging bank statements, and that was done without the knowledge of the youth and their parents, and so the banks can also look into the case.
One of the parents said they want to file a civil case because they are having a hard time paying off the loans. The parent said the BEO agents should also bear the principal amount as the verdict states they were found guilty of making false Bank of Bhutan accounts (guarantor) of the 697 students of LEP program.
Most of the youth have not paid off their debt, said the parent. Parents had to take a loan of Nu 700,000.
Meanwhile, Jurmey Tshewang and Tenzin Rigden of BEO were sentenced concurrently to a total of 7 years and 11 months by the Thimphu District Court last week.
Of this, they got 5 years each for making false Bank of Bhutan accounts (guarantor) of the 697 students, who participated in the LEP program.
They were actually liable for 2,091 years of jail time each for all the counts of offences (3 years for each offence) but the judgment applied the charges concurrently to make it five years
Both defendants were also found guilty of making false pay slips of the guarantors or parents of the 730 youth who took part in the LEP program for 3 years totaling 2,190 documents. They sent the youth to Japanese language schools.
They were both liable to 2,190 years of jail time each if one year was applied per document but both were sentenced concurrently to 2 years 11 months of imprisonment with option to pay Thrim-thue of Nu 131,250 each.
Both the defendants have appealed to the High Court.
This paper did a series of investigative stories on how youths and their parents were duped in the LEP program resulting in deaths, sickness, mental trauma, broken promises and financial losses.