Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Bhutan : Tobacco worth of Nu. 400,000 apprehended

June 23: Custom officials in Phuentsholing have seized tobacco products worth Nu. 400,000. The consignment was being smuggled in a truck.

It was apprehended at around 7:30 am on Saturday at Rinchending. This is the largest consignment of tobacco products to be seized so far. It was being smuggled in a truck hidden carefully under a load of fertilizers.

Custom officials told our reporter Kinzang Yeshey that usually loaded trucks have to stop at the second customs check post but the truck which was carrying the smuggled tobacco products refused to stop. Suspicious, the customs officials followed the truck and managed to catch up with it at Rinchending.

Officials said upon checking the truck they found cigarettes and chewing tobacco hidden below the load of urea fertilizer the truck was carrying. The fertilizers were meant to be taken to Trashigang while the tobacco was to be dropped at Simtokha in Thimphu.

Officials said the driver refused to reveal the name of the person who had asked him to bring the tobacco products.

Over the past few weeks, customs officials have seized tobacco products worth over Nu. 260,000 on three occasions.


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