RBP confirms 1 deceased and 5 alleged drug traffickers in Bangkok incident are Bhutanese nationals

RBP launches own investigation on actual cause of death including looking at others involved


Earlier this week, the Bangkok police found a dumped bag with a human body inside it in a canal in Bangkok.

The deceased was identified by the Bangkok police and media as a 45 year old Ugyen Tshering from Bhutan.

The Bangkok police according to the local media found 58 balls of crystal methamphetamine inside the body of the deceased and according to the Institute of Forensics in Bangkok, the death was probably caused when one of the bags burst and caused an overdose.

The Bangkok police release the names of five more Bhutanese nationals and the ring leader, who is an Indian national, in the Bangkok media. All of them are understood to have fled Bangkok.

Now, the Royal Bhutan Police has swung into action and has already tracked down the identity and location of the deceased’s family confirming the deceased as being a Bhutanese national.

The RBP has also confirmed that the five other people named as Bhutanese nationals are in fact Bhutanese nationals.

According to ‘The Nation’ a newspaper in Bangkok, the deceased travelled with six other alleged members of the gang on March 28th 2016 and they checked into a hotel on Mahachai Road in Bangkok’s Phra Nakhon district.

His fellow travellers have been identified as Tandin Wangchuk, 35; Sonam Zam, 22; Dechen Dema, 30; Pema Khudu, 51; Kinzang, 32; and Manoj Kumar Daga, 37. Five of them are Bhutanese citizens, including two women, while the head of the gang is believed to be Daga, an Indian national.

The RBP is in the process of contacting the family of the deceased as part of its investigation.

The RBP will also be investigating to track down the other alleged Bhutanese who are involved. It has been learnt that the RBP has already gotten in touch with one of the women and through her will find out more details about the others.

A senior RBP official said that the RBP will look into the exact cause of death of the deceased to determine whether it was really an overdose or if there were other causes.

The RBP as of Friday evening was also in the process of getting the body of the deceased to Bhutan.

According to The Nation the Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Pol Lt-General Sanit Mahathaworn said the gang was allegedly planning to sell the drug inside Thailand rather than using the country as a transit point to China.

The report said that a video clip from the CCTV camera at their hotel showed two Bhutanese men carrying one big and two small bags out of the building at 1am on April 1. Another outside camera showed them dumping the big bag into the canal before getting into a cab.

Police said the gang may not have had the skills to take the drugs out of the dead body, so decided to dump it in the canal. The Bangkok police said that there might be several other people involved in the case.

The shop owner who sold the suspects bags had cooperated with police and the information he provided was useful in creating sketches of the suspects.

The report by ‘The Nation’ said that is rare to find Bhutan nationals involved in drug trafficking in Thailand. Reports from the Office of the Narcotics Control Board (ONCB) show that such networks often smuggle cocaine from the South American countries of Bolivia, Peru and Columbia via Brazil to Singapore, Turkey, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ethiopia, before bringing the haul into Thailand.

This is not the first case of drug smuggling to Bangkok involving a Bhutanese person. In September 2013 a Bhutanese women was detained at the Suvarnabhumi international airport  with around 5 kg worth of ketamine.

Meanwhile the Foreign Ministry through its Embassy in Bangkok is also trying to find out more details on the issue.


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