Chukha court sentenced three men to a prison term ranging from three years to five years for illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and for aiding and abetting the crime.

Tshering Wangchuk, 27, from Khoma in Lhuentse was sentenced to five years in prison for illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances after Gedu police found him in possession of 25 capsules of Spasmoproxyvon Plus (SP+) on May 7 last year.

Police arrested him from a taxi plying to Thimphu from Phuentsholing following a tip-off.

The April 17 judgment stated that Tshering Wangchuk violated section 39.2 of the Narcotic Drugs Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan (NDPSSA) 2015.

It stated that although the defendant told Gedu police that the substances were brought for his own consumption, he later changed the statement during the preliminary hearing and said that the substances belonged to him and his two friends, Lhakpa, 26, and Sonam Drukpa, 31.

Police arrested the two men on September 5 and September 14 last year.

The two tested positive for drugs and also confessed that the substance was bought after they contributed Nu 100 each. 

Lhakpa from Goshing in Zhemgang and Sonam Dendup from Bidung in Trashigang, in their statement to police, said that while the three met in Phuentsholing and were loitering in the bordering town of Jaigaon, an Indian man approached them, asking them if they wanted to buy the substance. 

They then contributed Nu 100 each and bought three stripes of SP+. “The Indian man gave two SP+ capsules for free,” the judgment stated.

The court sentenced Lhakpa and Sonam Dendup to three years in prison for aiding and abetting the crime.

The judgement stated that the two could not be convicted for trafficking the drugs since the substances were found with Tshering Wangchuk and not with them. 

They were convicted of aiding and abetting based on Penal Code of Bhutan’s section 125. The crime was graded a fourth-degree felony. The two can pay thrimthue in lieu of prison term.

Tashi Dema