Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bhutanese monk gets three years for possessing tobacco

A monk has become the first person to be sentenced in Bhutan for importing illegal tobacco products. He will spend the next three years in jail. He has hundreds of supporters who want the act to be repealed.

A 23-year-old monk, who was sentenced to three years in jail on Thursday for smuggling and illegally possessing 48 packets of chewing tobacco, is very unhappy.

"I should be punished, but the penalty could have been lighter, as I wasn’t aware of the act," Sonam Tshering told the local newspaper Kuensel after the district court in the capital Thimphu passed the verdict.

In his submission to the court, the defandant had admitted that he "had smuggled tobacco products across the border" from the Indian town of Jaigaon. However, he pleaded that he was "ignorant about the laws and appealed leniency for his crime."

To read more: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6459417,00.html

Source photo: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,6459417,00.html

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