Between March to May 2017, the Commission conducted a full investigation into suspected embezzlement of government funds allocated for operating mess for De-Suung training programmes at the Military Training Centre (MTC), Wangduephodrang.
Overall, the total mess expenditure up to the 23rd batch in 2017 reached nearly Nu.70 million. The investigation discovered that the senior military officers who were entrusted to manage and oversee mess affairs (including purchases of food items from local vendors) were involved in fabrication of purchase bills and cash memos. Such fraudulent practice was deeply entrenched in the system and continued from one batch to another. They solicited blank bills from local vendors, fabricated amount either by themselves, or their assisting Non-Commission Officers (NCO) and defrauded the government into adjusting more expenses than what was actually incurred. The investigation also learned that the spot quotations were mostly rigged and supply orders were placed to one of their own staff (who was running a vegetable shop within the training campus) using different trade licenses. Inflation of bills were mostly done in high-value items. The investigation determined that more than Nu. 11.00 million had been siphoned and implicated 15 Army officers, 8 NCOs and several business vendors.
The investigation detected numerous systemic loopholes that directly or indirectly contributed to encouraging unethical behaviours of officers. These included permitting excessive and needless cash advances although accounts were usually settled only after the conclusion of the programme, end-to-end roles held by the officers, non-transparent practice of adjusting certain cash expenses in the pretext of audit objection, lack of proper inventory control and documentations.