CCTVs watch over Thimphu

… in a bid to further reduce crime

Yearender |  Crime: The past five years saw a drastic drop in crime rates in the country from 4,697 cases in 2011 to 2,055 in 2015. Battery and assault remained the top crimes committed in the country in 2015, followed by larceny, and then crimes related to drugs.

While police are yet to release figures for the year of the Monkey,  as a move to further deter and reduce crime the police initiated their Safe City Solution project to install 118 CCTV cameras in Thimphu city.

The CCTVs is also expected to reduce physical deployment of police personnel especially traffic police on various locations in the city.

However, while efforts continue to bolster security in the country, some crime spilled over the border.

The discovery of the body of a 46-year-old Bhutanese man in a canal in Bangkok’s Klong Ong Ang district on April 3 left many people in the country in shock and disbelief.

The deceased was suspected to have died from a drug overdose after a bag of crystal methamphetamine that he had swallowed, burst inside his stomach.

The Thai criminal court issued arrest warrants for six suspects, including five Bhutanese nationals and a Nepalese man, linked to the death of the Bhutanese. They are suspected to be members of a drug trafficking gang smuggling drugs from India into Thailand.

In more than 20 years, less than five Bhutanese have been involved in drugs-related crimes abroad. This was the second time in three years that a Bhutanese national was involved in a drug case in Thailand. The incident made headlines in the country as well as across major news media outlets in Thailand with successive reports almost everyday.

At home, police arrested a 38-year-old man from Serthi, Jomotsangkha for trafficking marijuana on May 4, last year. Following a tip off, a police patrol seized more than 600kgs of dried marijuana from a Bolero pick-up truck that the man, a school bus driver in Jomotsangkha was driving. This was the largest quantity of marijuana seized in the country so far.

Thimphu police also arrested a tour operator and his accomplice, a businessman when they were abusing brown sugar in their car on the night of February 15. Police recovered 17.34 grams of brown sugar from the prime suspect’s jacket pocket. This was the third case involving brown sugar since 2004.

Meanwhile, Spasmo-proxyvon (SP) remains the most abused drug in the country with at least 8,000 capsules seized by the police, last year.

The year also witnessed the involvement of police personnel in some crimes.

A police personnel allegedly murdered his wife after stabbing her several times at the Royal Bhutan Police campus in Phuentsholing on May 5.

Another five police personnel were suspended from duty and arrested on March 24 for sharing an obscene photograph on the mobile application, WeChat.

The case of a woman conning more than 30 in a visa scam made headlines in the fire male Monkey year. Thimphu police detained the woman for deception and forgery after she allegedly promised more than 30 people employment in the USA

The escape of five detainees from the Thimphu City police station’s detention centre in Thimphu on December 20, reminded police personnel to be more alert. Three of the detainees were arrested two days after their escape, while the other two were arrested seven days later following a massive manhunt.

The fire male Monkey year also saw a change of guard for the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) with the retirement of Brigadier Kipchu Namgyel and the appointment of Colonel Chimi Dorji as the Chief of Police in November last year.

Dechen Tshomo

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