Chukha dzongkhag court last week sentenced a 36-year-old civil servant to five years in prison for illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance.

Tshewang Penjor from Tongzhang in Trashiyangtse was arrested on October 29 last year after Gedu police found 70 capsules of SP+ in his jacket. He also tested positive for tramadol.

Although the judgement only stated that he was a civil servant, it was learnt that he works with the economic affairs ministry as a trade officer.

Office of the Attorney General (OAG) charged him with trafficking the substances.

The May 22 judgement stated that Tshewang Penjor contended that someone has put the substances in his jacket pocket after he left his car window open because of the heat in Phuentsholing.

He also contended before the court that since he worked in the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and had done an investigation, people affected by his work might have placed the substances in his jacket.

He claimed that he doesn’t know where the substances are bought from and also did not conceal it because he never had the intention of trafficking it.

Tshewang Penjor also submitted that when police arrested him, he got confused and gave the statement.

He also claimed he was always sick and took medication with SP+ content according to the doctor’s prescription.

However, OAG’s lawyer argued that the defendant, while working with ACC, was in the administration section and would not have enmity with anyone. “There was also a witness when he wrote the statement.”

Although the defendant produced a prescription from Dr Rigden that prescribed five pieces of Ultracet on October 14, OAG’s lawyer argued that the prescription never stated that he could buy and consume the controlled substances.

The court ruled that Tshewang Penjor could not prove who put the substances in his jacket and convicted him of violating section 139 (2) of the Narcotic Drugs Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan 2015.

The crime is graded a third-degree felony.

The judgment stated that since the defendant served 11 days in detention since his arrest until he availed bail, he would now have to serve four years 11 months and 19 days in prison.

Staff reporter