Tipped off by an informer, Jumotsangkha police arrested a 38-year-old man for illicit trafficking of cannabis (marijuana) on May 4 at around 2 AM. The suspect is a school bus driver.
Police seized 17 bags, around 680 kg, of dry marijuana from the man.
The suspect was carrying the bags of marijuana in a Bolero pick-up vehicle that he was travelling in from Serthig gewog to sell it in Tinali, Assam. Six other people are involved in carrying the bags of marijuana to the road head and loading the bags into the Bolero.
According to sources, the people of Serting normally dry the marijuana for use during off season and for sale. Magmi of Serting gewog said that such a practice has been carried out since the time of their grandparents.
“We don’t cultivate marijuana. It grows of its own, whereby people uproot and dry it to sell in border areas for money,” the Magmi said. He also said that Arunachal Pradesh, India being close to their gewog, villagers make a deal with Arunachal people.
Villagers are resorting to such business, now more than ever, to pay off their vehicle loans.
Section 134 of NDPSSA Act of Bhutan 2015, states that the offence of illicit trafficking of cannabis and its derivatives shall be a felony of third degree if the quantity is more than two times the quantity determined in the schedule VII of the Act. Or, a felony of third degree, if it is more than the quantity determined in the schedule VII of the Act but equal to or less than two times the quantity determined.