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Subject:  Verdict regarding the case of clandestine entry and false declaration of travel history 

The Royal Court of Justice, Thimphu Dzongkhag Court, passed its verdict today regarding the case of clandestine entry and false declaration of travel history against Sangay Lhendup, who has been sentenced to 4 years in prison.

Sangay Lhendup had deliberately misled immigration officials at the international border crossing in Phuentsholing stating that he had come from Gomtu when he had actually come from Nepal. Subsequently, he entered the country clandestinely to evade health protocols and mandatory facility quarantine. Through this reckless and highly irresponsible act, he endangered the lives of his family and community and people of Bhutan at a time when the entire nation is working hard to prevent the importation and spread of COVID-19.

He was charged for breach of public order and tranquility, criminal nuisance and reporting of false information. The case was initially reported to the Ministry of Heath by the community of Kabesa, Thimphu on 1 July 2020. Sangay Lhendup will serve his 4-year sentence upon completion of mandatory quarantine on 24 July 2020.

The COVID-19 Task Force would like to urge and appeal to the general public to refrain from committing such selfish and reckless acts under any circumstances. Those that commit such offences shall face severe consequences in accordance with due process and the rule of law.

At the same time, we request all communities to remain vigilant and to immediately report the presence of any individuals who they suspect of having entered the country without complying with health protocols and mandatory quarantine. It is in our individual and collective interest to support the efforts of the government during this very difficult and challenging period. The general public is also reminded to comply with all Notifications and measures put in place to mitigate the risks of importation and transmission of COVID-19.


COVID-19 Task Force
23 July 2020