537 contraband smugglers caught this year

Figures compiled by the Royal Bhutan Police show an increase in smuggling of contraband at the border.

From January to May this year, police caught 537 people who were bringing in drugs and tobacco products in the country.

Before the sealing of borders from January to March 22 this year, drugs seized included marijuana dried leaves, marijuana hashish, spasmo proxyvon plus nitrosun, corex, and thinner with 8,311 capsules of Spasmo Proxyvon Plus (SP+) being the highest loot. 

Police also seized 362 tablets of Nitrosun and 57 bottles (100ml each) of Corex plus 2.227 kgs of marijuana dried leaves and 5.55 liters of Thinner along with 0.64 kgs of marijuana hashish.

Meanwhile, after the sealing of borders from March 23 till May 25 this year, marijuana dried leaves, marijuana hashish, spasmo proxyvon plus, nitrosun, corex, brown sugar, and thinner were seized. Police seized 55,153 capsules of Spasmo Proxyvon Plus (SP+) and 650 tablets of Nitrosun among others. 

Even items such as brown sugar (0.201 grams) were seized after the lockdown.

Lieutenant Colonel Lobzang Dorji from Narcotic Drugs and other Vices Division said, the amount of seized items have increased after the sealing of borders because, law enforcement agencies have been strictly monitoring the border sites including the border gates and with the kind of patrolling done right now, more offenders are being caught.

After the seized contraband is brought back from the court where the police has to show it as evidence to the court for judgment, the Bhutan Narcotics Control Authority (BNCA) destroys them and provides the report of destroyed items to the RBP and the case closes.

In 2016, there were 523 caught of contraband smuggling;  in 2017, 1055, in 2018, 1,191 and in 2019, 1,347.

Sonam Tashi from Thimphu