Crime: Thimphu district court’s bench V sentenced a 29-year-old man to a non-compoundable prison term of five years for illicit trafficking of controlled substances on May 24.

The convict, Dophu Tashi who is a law student from Nubi gewog, Paro was arrested from Semtokha, Thimphu in March this year.

He was caught with 128 capsules of Spasmoproxyvon (SP), five and a half tablets of Nitrosun 10 (N10) and 0.23 gram of cannabis.

He had also tested positive for N10 and cannabis.

The convict claimed that the controlled substances were for self-consumption.

Although the quantity of cannabis he possessed does not exceed the minimum quantity for illicit trafficking that is seven grams, the convict possessed more than the prescribed quantity of SP and N10.

Because of which, he was charged for smuggling controlled narcotic and psychotropic substances into the country.

The Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan (NDPSAA) 2015 classifies cannabis under schedule I of the Act, describing it as narcotic drug with no medicinal value.

NDPSSA also states that illegal possession of all controlled narcotics and psychotropic substances could result in an offence of misdemeanor if the quantity is less than the limit determined in the Act but fails to produce a prescription from a registered physician for licit use.

The convict as per the Civil and Criminal Procedure Code can appeal to high court within 10 days of the judgment.

Dechen Tshomo