A 23-year-old handicapped man was arrested by Phuentsholing police on March 22 at around 21:40 hrs from main gate which is 1 km away from the police station. He was caught during the daily routine checking by the police.
The suspect is from Ugyentse, Samtse. The tobacco product was found from Dhug transport and was concealed under the last seat of the bus. During the time of incident, the suspect, without the knowledge of the bus driver, had driven the bus.
He was carrying 12,370 sticks of “navy cut” cigarettes, 5,200 sticks of Bedi, 120 (1020) packets of Nevla Khaini. The suspect confessed of having purchased the product from a supermarket at the total cost of Nu 56,000 for a sale in Thimphu.
The bus driver who is lives in Manglabari, Jaigoan said he had kept the bus in one of the workshops in Toorsa Khola for maintenance works. However, the suspect managed to get hold of the bus and had driven the bus at night towards the supermarket to buy the tobacco products.
As per Tobacco Control (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2014, a person found guilty of tobacco smuggling will be convicted for petty misdemeanor, imprisonment from one month to one year and is a compoundable offence. The compoundable amount depends upon the verdict by the court where the minimum wage per day is Nu 125, which comes around Nu 3750 for a month.
The suspect is also liable for a fine since he did not pay the 100 percent tax. Therefore, the suspect has to pay double the value of tobacco which comes around Nu120, 000. And as per the Tobacco control (Amendment) Act of Bhutan 2014, the suspect has to pay 5 times the value of tobacco products which comes around Nu 280,000.
The suspect is under Phuentsholing police and the case is under investigation.