Two Bhutanese men arrested with bear bile and red sander wood

PHUENTSHOLING, Bhutan (Kuensel/ANN) - The man was arrested during regular checking that has been intensified during the election period. Police have impounded the vehicle and investigation to identify the source of the cash is on.

Phuentsholing police arrested a 48-year-old man at Rinchending checkpost for illagal possession of 4.5 grams of bear bile on October 10. Police also found that the man had Nu 199,500 (US$ 2,695.94 on him at the time of the arrest. He is from Samdingkha village in Toewang, Punakha.

Superintendent of police (SP) in Phuentsholing, Colonel Wangchukla said the police first found the cash inside the vehicle, a Hilux, he was driving.

“We later found the bear bile,” he said. “We thought it was a case of money laundering or illegal businesses or contravene.”

However, during the interrogation, the suspect provided different details about the cash and could not give correct information as required. “When we probed further he couldn’t prove the source of the money,” the SP said.

Police officials said the man had told police that he had borrowed the money by keeping the hilux as mortgage. The suspect had also told police that he received the cash by selling his car about two months ago.

However, the 1974 model Hilux was the same vehicle the man was driving when the police intercepted him. Police said that the person who had bought the vehicle two months ago was not given the vehicle. “He has not yet proven the source of the money,” he said.

The suspect was convicted in the past for a month for a gambling case in July 2017.

Colonel Wangchukla said Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) has beefed up security measures because of the election period. “We are carrying out intensive patrolling and checking. We are vigilant.”

Meanwhile, RBP on its official facebook page also confirmed that the recent case of Nu 5.25 (US$ 70,946.94) million being seized by Gedu poilce at Jumja is related to gold smuggling and money laundering case.

Two men, 26-year-old man from Gangkha in Chapcha, Chukha and 30-year-old man from Chenpa in Bji, Haa had sold the gold in India. The third  man, a 31-year old man from Missi in Tshento, Paro had smuggled in the gold from China. They were intercepted on October 8.

In another case yesterday, police also arrested a 29-year-old non-Bhutanese from across the border with 108kgs of red sander wood at the second gate yesterday. Eight logs of sanderwood were concealed in the Indian registered car he was driving.

Police intercepted the vehicle at 6:30am. The suspect had said that the sanderwood was supposed to be bought by a Bhutanese person.

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