Crime: Thimphu police arrested four men for possessing and abusing controlled pharmaceutical substances near Damchu in Chapcha Chukha on September 29.

The men were caught from three public transport buses travelling from Phuentsholing to Thimphu, during a regular highway checking.

Of the four, three were caught possessing pharmaceutical substances while one was apprehended for abusing marijuana.

A freelance guide and a recent graduate had on them 408 and 174 capsules of spasmo-proxyvon (SP) while a class 12 student was caught with 70 nitrosun 10 (N10) tablets.

According to Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan, 2015, spasmo-proxyvon capsule is listed under schedule III while N10 tablet is under schedule IV.

Legal officer with Bhutan Narcotics Control Agency, Tshering Om said a defendant shall be guilty of the offence of illicit trafficking of controlled substance if he/she possesses more than 10 SP capsules and more than 15 N10 tablets, as determined in schedule VII (minimum quantity for illicit trafficking) of the Act.

Section 141 of the Act states, “Offence of illicit trafficking of any substance listed under schedule III and IV of the Act shall be a felony of third degree if the quantity is equal to or more than two times the quantity determined in schedule VII.”

Unlike in the past, the revised Act also states that the offence of substance abuse for the first time shall be liable to undergo compulsory treatment and rehabilitation for not less than three months in an approved treatment centre or a month counseling if he/she does not require treatment or rehabilitation, or both.

Otherwise, the defendant shall be liable to undergo compulsory treatment and rehabilitation for more than six months depending on the number of times he/she is apprehended.

Dechen Tshomo