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Phuentshogling police seek support to combat cross-border drug issue

Phuentshogling Police have highlighted that identifying sources of drugs from the neighbouring country is a challenge they encounter. Recognising the problem, they called for support from relevant agencies to address the pressing issue in a stakeholder coordination meeting on drug control yesterday. Organised by the police, the meeting was aimed at bringing all relevant agencies together to collectively address the drug issue.

Phuentshogling police arrested more than 300 people in drugs-related cases this year alone. Police said that these individuals were unable to provide any information about their sources.

During the coordination meeting, it was revealed that those arrested are unaware of the identities of the people from whom they purchased the drugs.

The police are currently exploring various methods to track drug sources in India but are faced with additional challenges due to transboundary jurisdictional issues.

Being a major entry point, Phuentshogling in Chhukha has the second-highest number of drug-related cases in the country. As a result, police and stakeholders emphasised the crucial role of Phuentshogling officials in preventing drugs from entering the country.

The police also mentioned that the transportation of drugs through multiple modes and various smuggling techniques are posing significant challenges.

Additionally, the police highlighted that certain clauses in the Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Substance Abuse Act of Bhutan do not align with the ground reality.

The shortage of drug testing kits is another concern raised by both the police and stakeholders, which include participants from government agencies, corporations, non-governmental organisations, and the business community.

All participants agreed that drug testing plays a crucial role in early detection and combating the issue. However, budget constraints hinder routine drug tests. Participants, therefore, agreed to work towards advancing the drug testing methods.

And to develop strategic action plans and foster collaborations among stakeholders, an executive committee was formed during the stakeholder coordination meeting on the prevention of drug abuse and illicit drug trafficking.

During the 115th National Day Royal Address last year, His Majesty The King emphasised that drugs and substance abuse pose a huge threat to the country’s national security, the well-being of the people and children, and ultimately the future of the nation. His Majesty stressed on acting now before it is too late and doing whatever it takes to eradicate this threat.

Kinley Dem, Phuentshogling

Edited by Sonam Pem