Chukha dzongkhag court last week sentenced a 29-year-old farmer from Domkhar in Chumey, Bumthang, to five years in prison for illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The April 18 judgment stated that Karma Tshering was found guilty of violating section 139 (2) of the Narcotic Drugs Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan 2015 after Gedu police found 432 capsules of SP+ and 24 packets of chewing tobacco from a box.

It stated that Gedu police, while conducting routine checking in a Phuentsholing to Thimphu bound bus on August 29 last year found the controlled substances and tobacco products in the box.

Although the defendant absconded, leaving the things behind, he was arrested on December 11 last year from Samtse. Samtse police arrested him when he came to meet his wife.

Police claimed they conducted a urine test and Karma Tshering tested positive.

The judgment stated that although Karma Tshering contended before the court that the box in which the controlled substances were found does not belong to him but was a parcel, he could not provide the details of who had sent the parcel to whom.

“The bus driver also confirmed that the box belongs to him. CCTV footage also showed the defendant carrying the box,” it stated.

The crime of illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances is graded a third-degree felony with prison term ranging from five to nine years.

The judgment stated that since Karma Tshering has no prior criminal record, he was sentenced to five years.

Tashi Dema