Crime: The Jomotsangkha dungkhag court convicted a 52- and a 26-year-old man to un-compoundable prison terms of five years each for the illicit trafficking of cannabis and it’s derivatives.

The court also sentenced a 22- and a 23-year old man who accompanied and helped the two prime convicts to three-year prison terms.

They were sentenced last month. The term includes the months they served in detention.

The convicts were farmers from Serthi, Lauri and Langchenphu gewogs in Jomotsangkha.

The accused were charged with schedule VII, section 133 of the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan 2015 and Penal Code of Bhutan 2004.

The section states that a defendant shall be guilty of an offense of illicit trafficking of cannabis and it’s derivatives, regardless of the degree of purity, if he or she exports, stores, sells, purchases, transports, distributes, or supplies cannabis or its derivatives if it is more than the quantity determined in schedule VII of this Act.

As per schedule VII the minimum quantity for illicit trafficking is 50 grams of cannabis. The convicts were caught with 60 kilograms of cannabis.

The court official said the convicts were first-time offenders.

Meanwhile, Jomotsangkha police arrested a 47-year-old man who was at large for more than a year in connection with the illegal transaction of a controlled substance.

The suspect from Doongmanma in Lauri gewog had fled to Arunachal Pradesh in June last year.

But police had arrested another 67-year-old man on the same day.

He was caught with about six sacks of dried marijuana weighing about 180 kilograms, which he claimed belonged to the 47-year-old suspect and that he had no knowledge of what the sacks contained.

The 47-year-old man, who is a lay monk and also the prime suspect, was caught from his home in Doongmanma following a tip-off at around 3:55am on August 7 this year.

Police sources said the case will be forwarded to the Office of Attorney General.

Yangchen C Rinzin |  Samdrupjongkhar