Thimphu: A 33-year old man from Trashigang was spared the full brunt of the tobacco law for bringing in the contraband just outside the border point between India and Bhutan on February 25. When the district court in Samdrup Jongkhar passed its verdict on March 22, Cheku Dorji received just half the sentence – one year and eight months – because when arrested, he was a few yards short of the Bhutanese territory. This happened because the Gelephu-Samdrup Jongkhar bus in which he was a conductor usually stops for inspection just outside the gate. As a result, not only is the punishment lighter but Cheku Dorji can pay Nu 60,000 in lieu of the sentence. He was caught with 200 pieces of cigarettes and 600 packets of Baba (chewing tobacco) which he had hidden in a box concealed near the driver’s seat. When the police asked him to open the box, he confessed having the tobacco products. He even went to the extent of confessing that he intended to sell them in Kanglung in Trashigang. “He was
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Thimphu: Yet another person - a bus driver - was convicted for tobacco smuggling. Twenty nine-year old Ambar Biswa from Dagana, working for Sernya Transport, was sentenced to three years in prison on April 4 by Chhukha dzongkhag court. The judgment stated that Ambar Biswa’s act had violated section 52 of the Tobacco Control Act and was thus liable for fourth degree felony. He was arrested at Tanalum checkpoint for carrying 10 packets of chewing tobacco (Baba) and two packets of cigarettes which were hidden in the bus’ dashboard. In his statement to the police, the convict said the tobacco products, supposedly bought in the border of Jaigaon, West Bengal, were meant for his personal consumption. Bhutan TODAY learnt that the convict is unhappy with the judgment and will appeal to the High Court. Ambar Biswa was released on bail after paying Nu 3,000 on March 28 but was later detained on the order of the court.