Case 01/2011 – Bribery in Road Network Project (Trongsa-Gelephu Highway)

This case is about the bribery in the ADB Road Network Project (RNP) at Tingtibi, Zhemgang involving Mr. Yamuna Prasad Shah and Mr. Jagdish Thapa, both of whom are citizen of Nepal and were employed by GEOCE Consultant (p) Ltd. The investigation was launched as a hot pursuit case based on a crime in progress report lodged with the Commission.

 Investigation established that Mr. Yamuna Prasad Shah, Resident Engineer and Mr. Jagdish Thapa, Material Engineer solicited and accepted a bribe from Nu. 1.000 million and Nu. 100,000.00 respectively from one local contractor. The bribe was solicited in consideration for allowing the contractor to recommence the work in a certain section of the road that was previously stalled by the accused citing use of unacceptable construction materials. The investigation ascertained that Mr. Yamuna Prasad Shah had solicited and accepted bribes even on other occasions from the same contractor as well as another local contractor executing different packages of the same project. Altogether, Mr. Yamuna Prasad Shah had received a bribe amounting to Nu. 2.500 million including air tickets worth US$ 230. Likewise, Mr. Jagdish Thapa had solicited and received a total bribe amounting to Nu. 450,000 from the same contractor. Furthermore, investigation revealed that Mr. Jagdish was in possession of assets disproportionate to his lawful source of income amounting to Nu. 390,000.00. This was determined through review of his bank accounts and the money sent via draft to his wife, Ms. Mina Thapa in Nepal.

 The case was referred to the OAG for prosecution on 13 May 2011. Mr. Yamuna Prasad Shah, Mr. Jagdish Thapa and the contractor were charged for the offence of bribery. Mr. Jagdish Thapa was also charged for possession of disproportionate assets to his lawful source of income. Simultaneously, prayers were submitted to the Court for restitution of the bribe amount Nu. 1.720 million plus US$ 2,430.00 (or equivalent in Ngultrum) from Mr. Yamuna Prasad Shah and Nu. 840,000.00 from Mr. Jagdish Thapa.

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