four women detained for selling tobacco products

I n a major raid conducted by the Wangduephodrang police earlier this month, on January 14, four women were arrested from Khenpajochu under Tshogom Gewog, about seven kilometers from the Wangdue town for selling and possession of tobacco products.

Police were notified about the suspects, running paan shops and their activities by an informer. Four different shops were raided and tobacco products were found.

Of the four women detained by the police, two women, aged 21 and 37, are from Mongar. Other two are a 35-year-old woman from Samtse and a 55-year- old local woman from Wangduephodrang.

Products recovered from the raided shops included chewing tobacco (baba), Biri and cigarettes (Navy Cuts). Police found 72 sticks of cigarettes, 336 sticks of Biri and 200 grams of chewing tobacco from the shop of the 21-year-old suspect while 890 sticks of cigarettes were found from the 37-year-old paan shop owner.

A total of 360 sticks of cigarettes, 240 sticks of Biri and 50 grams of Baishali khaini (chewing tobacco) were found at the3 5-year-old suspect’s shop.

From the fourth suspect, police found 60 sticks of cigarettes, 768 sticks of Biri, 70 grams of chewing tobacco and 110 grams of Nevna tobacco, a different brand of chewing tobacco.

In their statements made to police, it was revealed that the tobacco products were supplied to them by a truck driver who is currently at large. Prior to making any statement, the suspects had denied of selling the products, claiming it was acquired for self consumption.

However , Wangduephodrang police, considering the huge quantity of products seized, were not convinced that such large quantities of tobacco products were bought for self consumption. “The products were meant for sale,” one of the police officials said.

The details of the driver have been provided to the police by the four suspects. The 25-year-old driver from Sarpang, working for a private firm, is alleged of supplying tobacco products.

It is also learnt that, following the arrest news, the driver had resigned from his post and is believed to have fled to Jaigoan, India and is living with his family in the bordering Indian town.

Wangduephodrang police have sought the help of Phuentsholing police to arrest the driver.

The case is still under investigation and will be further pursued after the driver is brought under police custody.


Chencho Dema 

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