Police recovers 17.34 grams of brown sugar 

Crime: After being on police radar for almost two years, a tour operator along with his accomplice, who is also a businessman, was arrested by the Thimphu police when they were abusing brown sugar in their car on the night of February 15.

Acting on a tip-off, police intercepted the two suspects at Echo point, (road above the Indigenous Hospital) when they were abusing the drugs in their car around 10 pm. Both were 28 years old.

Police recovered 17.34 grams of brown sugar from the prime suspect’s jacket pocket. The prime suspect, who is from Sephu gewog, Wangduephodrang, is the executive chief officer  (CEO) of a tour company based in Olakha.

A police spokesman said that after receiving  tip off about brown sugar being distributed among substance abusers in Thimphu, police drugs team gathered intelligence for the past few weeks.

“We also learnt that the CEO, who has past record of drugs offense, is the main supplier in the market,” a police official said. “We have been observing him since 2014 but could not arrest him because of lack of evidence.”

Police also recovered a small amount of brown sugar in a silver foil from his accomplice, who is the proprietor of a car decoration business in Olakha. He is from Sarpangtar gewog, Sarpang.

Police said that they could not conduct narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances (NDPS) abuse test on the prime suspect. However, while conducting NDPS abuse test on the second suspect, he tested positive for abuse of MOP (morphine) and BZO (benzodiazepine). Police said that both suspects were under the influence of substance abuse.

Sources said that the prime suspect had told police that he brought brown sugar from a supplier based in Jaigaon, India. The brown sugar is being sold in Thimphu for Nu 1,500 to Nu 2,000 a gram.

Brown sugar, which is an adulterated form of heroin and also known as smack, junk, skag, dope, and chaw, is a semi synthetic opioid derived from the morphine extracted from poppy plants.

According to the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act (NDPSSA) 2015, which came into enforcement in July last year, brown sugar is categorized as schedule I drugs. A person found guilty of an offence of illegal possession of any substance is liable of a first-degree felony.

This is the third case police dealt with brown sugar since 2004.

Police in Phuentsholing arrested two men in possession of drugs from Centennial Hotel on the night of February 16.  A 28-year-old unemployed man from Gangkhar, Trashiyangtse and a 35-year-old tourist guide from Wangsisina, Thimphu, were found in possession of 1,414 spaxmo capsules, 119 tablets of N10, 19 bottles of Corex and nine packets of marijuana.

They were detained for investigation.

Rinzin Wangchuk