Police foil thieves’ attempt to swallow precious stones and escape detection

Recovered Dzi and turquoise from suspects

Police used a unique trick to retrieve four Dzi beads and turquoise after an X-ray revealed the stolen objects lying in the stomach

LHAKPA TSHERING

Thimphu

In the unique case of retrieval, police fed a lot of food to three thieves to make them excrete the reportedly swallowed four Dzi beads and a turquoise during the search operation.

The incident occurred following the arrest of two suspects from Thimphu, part of a group comprising six people, involved in a burglary case of a businesswoman’s house near Centenary Farmers Market on the night of 26 July.

In a span of two weeks, the interrogation of two suspects on 13 July in Thimphu led police on a suspected jewelry theft in the capital and began operations to apprehend four other suspects who were on the run and were trying to cross the border through Samtse on 28 July.

The suspects, whose ages range from 25 to 30, allegedly stole precious items worth over 15-million, including cash, where they recovered most of the stolen items during the investigation. But the four missing Dzi and the turquoise were not immediately found in his possession.

A police officer in Thimphu dealing with the investigation said, the four suspects in Samtse were first found in the jungle but managed to escape by jumping over the cliff. “Our uniformed personnel along the border had a tough time arresting them,” he said.

He said, initially, the suspects misled the cops and argued to have lost the stolen items while trying to escape from the police until the suspects were taken to the hospital.

“But we did not believe them and were taken to the nearby hospital for x-rays where it revealed the stolen items were lying in their stomachs,” he continued, adding one suspect swallowed two Dzi while another two suspects swallowed one Dzi each and a turquoise.

“The Dzi came out in faeces of two suspects while in Samtse but we had to bring them here since it did not come out from one suspect,” he added. “We had to feed him a lot of food to make him excrete the Dzi under surveillance and it only worked after three days.”

The suspects were escorted to Thimphu and put under the containment center at Chamgang for a week since they were traveling from high to the low-risk area. The investigation started following their negative test result for Covid-19.

“While we have recovered all the stolen valuable items we could not recover the cash,” the officer added. “Among them, four were repeat offenders who were previously convicted of crimes in a similar case.”

In addition, he said, it was a planned burglary where the thieves closely followed and were aware of the location and valuable items. “They have attempted four times and last night was successful. They directly targeted safe and taken,” he said.

They were caught on surveillance cameras and police officials highlighted the importance of CCTV camera installation and urged people to keep valuables in the safe deposit box in the bank or attach their safe to the wall for more security.

In a similar incident, police also arrested a 27-year-old man on 19 August from Mongar who was one of the prime suspects involved in 13 burglary cases in Thimphu. 

Police officials said he is a repeat offender who was involved in a burglary case twice in Trashigang and once in Pema Gatshel. He was also conceited for six years from 2011 to 2017.

In addition, for the recent cattle rustling cases, police caught seven suspects aged between 25 to 35 years who confessed to killing 28 cattle from 40 missing cattle from Dokar, Shaba, and Naja Gewog in Paro.

Besides, police also arrested a 24-year-old man on 24 July and a 31- and 32-year-old man on 26 July in relation to smuggling controlled substances in the country in which both the huge consignments were sent by the same Indian merchant.

Meanwhile, the number of burglary cases in the country has declined compared to the previous years, from 160 cases in 2017 to 75 cases in 2021.

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