The Jomotshangkha police in Samdrupjongkhar, based on a tipoff, arrested two men in connection to illicit trafficking of dried marijuana around 8:30pm on October 31.

The men were arrested from Jampani, about 3km away from Jomotshangkha and seized 83kgs of dried marijuana.

According to the 29-year-old suspect, they brought the marijuana products that were kept at his home without the knowledge of his parents. Of the two suspects, the-29-year-old is from Brekha in Khaling, Trashigang and the other 29-year-old is from Serthi gewog in Samdrupjongkhar.

Police officials said the suspects buy marijuana paying around Nu 600 a kg from villagers and sell it across the border in Udalguri, Assam, India among others. They sell it for about Nu 2,500 a kg.

Officials said the suspects were trans-shifting the products into a bolero during their arrest. Police carry out continuous ambush and mobile patrolling to deter cannabis traffickers despite challenges of wild elephants, poisonous reptiles and rough terrain.

“Serthi gewog in Jomotshangkha drungkhag is one of the main hubs of marijuana, an official said. “People resort to marijuana business by cultivating it in the thick jungles away from their home despite carrying out numerous awareness programmes.”

Officials said that the police, forest and drungkhag officials have written to the gups that they would be soon coming for the inspection. “If we find any marijuana cultivation around the houses, we will arrest that house owner,” an official said.

Jomotshangkha police in collaboration with forest and drungkhag offices work together with Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Assam police and other concerned authorities to prevent marijuana smuggling and nab illicit traffickers.

“But it’s always a challenge given the porous borders,” an official said. “One of the main challenges is people across the borders using Bhutanese sim cards.”

Kelzang Wangchuk  | Samdrupjongkhar