Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

Five individuals (four men and a teenager) have been arrested for trying to smuggle tobacco products worth Nu 518,320 from Jaigaon on October 8.

Two were apprehended at Toorsa embankment while the products were being delivered by people from across the border and another three at Ganglakha.

Police received a tip off in the evening of October 7 about possible smuggling of tobacco. An investigation team led by a police officer and three De-Suups visited the place and alerted the duty personnel along the Toorsa point of entry (POE).

Toorsa POE then monitored the movement in the infrared CCTV and saw 15-20 men moving along the riverside with some loads.

The team then went to the place and found the tobacco products. They were loading a bolero pickup truck when the team nabbed them.

A 53-year-old man and a 16-year-old boy, from Phuentsholing gewog were apprehended.

Meanwhile, every day, miscreants from across the border cross the border along the Toorsa area. Many come for fishing using tyre tubes.

One of the three De-Suups, Tandin Dorji said that the POE duties had been observing people’s movement along the river for few days before they caught the men with tobacco. Several men from across the border would come with loads and return without successful delivery. Everything was being recorded in the infrared CCTV.

Tandin Dorji said the two apprehended at Toorsa were the ones who had come to receive the consignment.

Another De-Suup, Leela Dhar Adhikari, who was part of the team said the two were paid by the dealers from Thimphu.

During the questioning, it was found that the consignment was ordered from Thimphu.

The investigation team then let the transaction continue and followed the two until Gangalakha in a private vehicle.

At around 5am, the main suspect from Thimphu who ordered the tobacco was nabbed along with two others at Ganglakha.

The main suspect is a 22-year-old from Yoeseltse gewog under Samtse. His two friends are an unemployed 27-year-old from Ugyentse and a 24-year-old man from Yoeseltse.

The primary suspect has confessed to the crime, police has confirmed. Two vehicles have been impounded. The tobacco consignment contained 150 boxes of cigarettes, bidi, and chewing tobacco.