Chencho Dema | Punakha
To help address the growing drug abuse cases in the country, the Royal Bhutan Police (RBP) established a Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Division in Thimphu, which is housed in the same building as Thimphu Division.
The department is also working to set up independent NDPS units with immediate effect in Paro, Punakha, Phuentsholing, Wangduephodrang, Samtse, Samdrupjongkhar, and Gelephu.
Additional Chief of Police, Colonel Phub Gyeltshen said the establishment of the units in these dzongkhags was felt necessary because they have more drug-related offences than other dzongkhags. In 2022, 1,289 people were detained for drug related cases from the eight dzongkhags mentioned above. This was a huge increase from 594 in 2021, and 914 in 2020.
In 2022, Thimphu (North, South and Center) had the most arrests, 449 followed by Phuentsholing 188 and Paro 161.
Additionally, there were more female arrests for drug-related offences in the eight districts. In 2022, 86 females in total were detained, compared with 41 in 2021 and 75 in 2020. Thimphu recorded 55 arrests, Phuentsholing 19, Paro seven, and one each from Gelephu and Samtse.
Meanwhile, 1,557 people were detained nationwide in 2022, followed by 737 people in 2021, and 1,051 people in 2020. The suspects were found in possession of marijuana, hashish, brown sugar, Tramadol capsules, Nitrosun tablets, Nitrazepam tablets, Corex bottles, correction fluid/diluter bottles, and thinner.
“Deployment of officers to the designated units is already done while the office establishment is in progress,” Colonel Phub Gyeltshen said. Similar units in other districts will be opened in future.
In 2022, 6.07 kilogram of Cannabis, 2.04 kilograms of Resin (Hashish), 5.29 grams of Brown Sugar, 25,6385 capsules of Tramadol, 1667 tablets of Nitrosun, 31 tablets of Nitrazepam, 165 bottles of Corex, four bottles of fluid/Diluter and 16.41 litre of Thinner were all seized from across the country.
In addition to establishing these units, the RBP has also placed Narco dogs in key sites to crack down on drug trafficking.
The NDPS division and NDPS units is expected to be operational by next week.