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Three men sentenced for trafficking controlled substances

Chukha dzongkhag court on April 9 sentenced a 24-year old man from Thimphu to five years in prison for trafficking SpasmoProxyvon Plus (SP+) and cannabis.

Driver Sacha Dorji was given a concurrent sentencing. He was actually sentenced to six years in prison after Gedu police arrested him with 10.31 grams of cannabis and 495 capsules of SP+ on November 2 last year. 

He was found guilty of violating section 139.2 of the Narcotic Drugs Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse (NDPSSA) Act of Bhutan 2015. 

The judgment stated that although the crime, in accordance to section 141(1) of the NDPSSA Act is graded a third-degree felony with prison term ranging from five to nine years, Shacha Dorji was given the minimum sentence as he did not have any prior criminal record.

Shacha Dorji submitted to court that Sonam Tshering from Paro had asked him to buy the substances from Phuentsholing. 

He claimed that Sonam Tshering had taken 144 capsules and left 351 capsules with him.  He said that when he returned from Phuentsholing, he had brought 15 capsules with him for self-consumption. 

Sonam Tshering admitted in court that he had asked Shacha Dorji to bring the substances.

When the court investigated the claims, it found that 495 capsules were recovered from Sacha Dorji.

The Act states that the person in possession of the controlled substances is responsible for the penalty. 

The court sentenced Sonam Tshering to two years and six months in prison as he violated section 126 of the Penal Code of Bhutan and was convicted for solicitation. 

The section states that a person shall be guilty of the offence of solicitation if the person knowingly solicits, request, commands, or causes another person to commit a crime. 

In another case, the court sentenced a man from Bjachog in Chukha to five years in prison for trafficking controlled substances. 

Tshering Dorji had bought 225 capsules of SP+, 50 pieces of Nitrosun (N10) and four bottles of Onerex 100ml from Jaigaon for self-consumption on February 10 this year. 

He was also given a five years concurrent sentencing although he was given a 10-year sentencing. He was liable to five years in prison for trafficking SP+ and another five years for N10. 

The court stated that he violated section 139 (2) of the NDPSSA 2015 and was liable for a sentence ranging from three to five years. 

Tshering Dorji admitted to court that he had brought the substances for self-consumption and not trafficking. The judgment stated that since he did not have a previous conviction, he would have to serve three months in a rehabilitation centre and a month of counselling for Onerex. 

Tshering Palden

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