NCB busts gang cultivating Cannabis in Thane flat

Thane (Maharashtra), Apr 16 (IANS): In another major achievement, the Narcotic Control Bureau (NCB) bust a gang cultivating Cannabis inside a 2-BHK flat in Dombivali town in the district, a top official said here on Friday.

"It's a big case… We are investigating the entire network that was involved in cultivation of Cannabis by using the hydroponic technique," NCB Zonal Director Sameer Wankhede said of the development with international ramifications.

Following an intel-tipoff, the NCB swooped on a flat in Pallava City, a private housing township and were shocked to find Cannabis being cultivated there.

Two persons – Javed J. Sheikh and Arshad Khatri – were grilled by the NCB and the agency recovered the entire cultivation setup including PH regulators, plant nutrients, clay, pebbles, water-pumps, air-circulation systems, Co2 gas cylinders, photosynthesis lighting systems, etc, said Wankhede.

The indoor Cannabis farming facility was running in the home of one Rehan Khan, who is in Saudi Arabia and said to be financing the illegal project.

Khatri is described as an expert in hydroponic cultivation while Sheikh managed the distribution of the harvest to customers.

The duo procured seeds from Amsterdam (The Netherlands) through the dark-web and the produce was sold to medium-level drug peddlers in Mumbai and Pune for Rs.2,500 per gm for the retail markets, he added.

The sale-purchases were done in cash or crypto currencies like Bitcoins, with the supply orders and contact with retail customers done through social media on WhatsApp or SnapChat.

Hydroponic weed – referred to Cannabis grown without soil - is in great demand among the rich and in high society parties and gatherings.

The technique affords the cultivator full control over the plant and he can produce a reliable and faster harvest.



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