Three men suspected of stealing 53 horses in Wangdue Phodrang, out of which seven belonged to His Eminence Gangtey Truelku, have been detained by the police.
One of the suspects is a taxi driver from Punakha and the other two are farmers from Phobjikha, Wangdue Phodrang.
The horses went missing from Phobjikha where they were grazing.
Wangdue police said the horses were sold in two trips. The first trip was a success but during the second when they took eight horses towards Tango, Thimphu, they were caught since a monk at Tango monastery witnessed the horse heist and alerted his father Gup Khandu of Bjena Gewog, Wangdue Phodrang reported the case to the police on 4 April.
Five of the horses belonged to the gup himself, but “I managed to get them back,” he said.
Out of the eight horses recovered, one was dead. The horses stolen earlier were reportedly sold in Seo and Naro gewogs, Lingzhi. One ofthe customers from Naro gewog who bought horses was also detained but he was released after investigation proved that he had been unaware that the horses were stolen.
Police said places like Paro, Thimphu, Laya and Lingzhi are the most likely places for the transaction of the animal to take place.
The three men confessed to the police that they sold around 22 horses, eight in Dordena, Thimphu, another eight in Dokshari, Paro and six at Samtse.
A disciple of Gangtey Truelku Rinpochhe, Tshewang Gyelmo, said that that one of the lam’s horses went missing for morethan three years. “This time five mules and two mares are lost,” she added. However, recently one of the lost horses was recovered.
The lam’s horses were left free to graze around the Gangtey Goenpa.
Still, around 31 horses are missing and 22 people have lodged complaints on their missing horses.