Police officer slapped with seven charges including bribery

The police officer who has been accused of taking bribe last year has been slapped with seven charges by the Office of Attorney General (OAG) after the completion of investigations.

The case has been forwarded to the Phuentsholing Dungkhag Court on March 12 by OAG.

The seven charges framed against him were taking bribe, tampering of public documents, money laundering, abuse of privileged information, obstruction to lawful authority and official misconduct.

While the last charge against the officer was booked under ACC Act, which falls under the possession of unexplained wealth.

It is also learnt that investigation team had recovered an amount of Nu 50,000 plus from the officer which has been used as evidence by the investigation teams.

The team also discovered about more than Nu 200,000 from four different bank accounts, and the accused police officer was not able to justify the source of income. Based on such findings, the officer was charged with the possession of unexplained wealth.

Along with the officer, two more men were arrested for their involvement in bribery case. One man is an Indian businessman who deals in transportation business and other man is a Bhutanese from southern Bhutan.

Also, there was a third man, a labourer, who was also involved in the case but as he was just used by the accused as mediator to receive the money from the suspects.

It is said that the labourer is a witness to the crime and based on his statements, the investigation were carried on.

Sources say that both men arrested have almost confessed of their involvement in the bribery act while the officer denied of taking bribes in the court.

Currently, the second rebuttal is going on from the suspect’s side in the court.

According to the information received from the relevant sources, the officer was arrested on April 15, last year.

During the course of investigation, two non commissioned officers, gopa by rank, were also arrested for their indirect involvement in the case. It is said that they were suspended from the department.

The accused officer was the officer- in-charge of the Phuentsholing traffic division and a captain by rank.

Police source said that after the officer was found involved in the case, his pay and other allowances has been stopped.

However, the former traffic officer who has been accused of taking bribe said he is not happy with the investigation conducted against him and he alleged that it was not fair.

“The investigation against me was carried out more than five times as if i have embezzled millions in government funds. The investigation team says i have taken bribe when they are not able to produce evidence against me of taking a bribe” the accused said.

He claimed that for a crime he had not committed he has was being given a double jeopardy punishment, which is firstly termination without benefits and then the court case.

Citing an example, the former traffic officer said that one of the officers who was also charged for the same offence was given a chance either to face termination or resign voluntarily but in his case he was arrested.

“When the investigation was still going on, i was asked to move out of the house. I pleaded for justice but my plea fell on deaf ears. Before being proved guilty,

i have been terminated with no benefits,” he added.

Chencho Dema

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