Police are investigating into the drug bust of more than 1,000 capsules of spasmo proxyvon plus (SP+) from Chamgang central jail in Thimphu.

While sources told Kuensel that more than 2,000 capsules of SP+ were found inside the jail, a police source said they seized more than 1,000 capsules based on information, which was about to be smuggled inside the jail.

Superintendent of police for jail services, Colonel Karma Phuentsho, said he could not comment, as they are still investigating the case. “We seized the controlled substances on June 19 and 20 based on information.”

Police sources, however, said inmates from the jail are brought to the headquarters for interrogation. “Eight inmates were brought on June 27,” a source said.

Although most police officials maintain that they were not aware of the case, former inmates and close associates of the jail inmates say they are not surprised with the bust.

“This should have happened a long time ago,” a civil servant, who has her brother serving time in jail, said.

According to her, people talk about the easy access to controlled substances inside the jail whenever she went to meet her brother. “I even asked my brother, who is convicted for drugs abuse about it. He denied.”

She said her family took her brother’s conviction positively and assumed he would not have access to controlled substances and could come out of the jail clean. “We were worried whenever we heard about its availability inside the jail.”

The civil servant alleged that it has to be the police personnel who supplied the controlled substances inside. “Every time we went there to meet our brother, the constables were strict and checked everything. There is no way anyone could supply it inside except the constables.”

She said it is disheartening to know that measures are not in place to ensure the inmates do not have access to things that destroyed their life. “But I am glad that something is now being done to stop the supply.”

A corporate employee, who has a relative in jail, also alleged that drugs and tobacco products are available inside. “I am told a packet of chewing tobacco costs about Nu 2,500 when the supply is scarce,” he claimed.

A former corporate employee, who spent nine years in Chamgang for embezzlement, also said drugs and tobacco products are available inside the jail. “But no one tells us who brings them inside,” he said.

He also claimed that with most of the inmates convicted for drug trafficking and abuse, he saw many inmates suffering from withdrawal. “The officials on duty call the health officials, who prescribe and provide sedatives.”

Records maintained in 2017 stated that of the 363 inmates in the central jail, about half of them were convicted for drug-related offences. Of that, 23 were female and four juvenile delinquents aged between 16 to 24 years with sentencing ranging from one to nine years in prison.

Tashi Dema