Update: The case against four individuals allegedly involved in drug smuggling to Bangkok, Thailand which has reached the High Court is nearing its end.

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) had charged two men and two women with first degree felonies on September 1 last year.

The charges cite sections 139 and 140 of the Bhutan Penal Code.

The accused are alleged of the offense of murder or of voluntary manslaughter.

Section 140 (1) states that it is voluntary manslaughter “if the defendant possesses the intention to kill but without premeditated malice, acts under the violence of sudden passion occasioned by some great provocation such that a reasonable person would be induced to cause the death of other person.”

Thai police officials recovered a body of a Bhutanese man in his forties from a canal in Bangkok’s Klong Ong Ang district on April 3, 2016.

The man from Zhisaphang in Kabisa gewog, Punakha is suspected to have died from a drug overdose.

Thai media reported that investigation had found that the man had ingested 58 balls of crystal methamphetamine wrapped in condoms and one of the bags had burst inside him.

The man allegedly travelled with six others: five Bhutanese and an Indian national.

The group arrived in Bangkok on March 28 and checked into the Burapa hotel on Mahachai Road in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.

Two men were captured on the hotel’s CCTV moving one large and two small bags out of the building at 1am on April 1. A camera near the canal showed them dumping the large bag into the canal and leaving the area in a taxi.

Thai police said that the Indian national was the leader of the group suspected of the crime.

The individual named by Thai police was arrested in 2013 in relation to illegal ketamine smuggling into Thailand in which a 26-year-old Bhutanese woman was arrested with Nu 30 million worth of ketamine, a controlled substance, on September 1.

In more than 20 years, less than five Bhutanese have been involved in drugs related crimes abroad.

Sources said the first case was one involving a Bhutanese attempting to smuggle cannabis into the United States of America.

Tshering Palden