NCB busts marijuana racket operating from 2BHK flat at Dombivli

The arrested accused are Javed Jahangir Shaikh and Arshad Khatri. NCB allegedly seized more than 1kg hybrid cannabis worth 80 lakh from the duo as well as equipment used to cultivate the contraband.
The agency has seized equipment used to cultivate marijuana from the flat. (HT)
The agency has seized equipment used to cultivate marijuana from the flat. (HT)
Published on Apr 17, 2021 12:58 AM IST
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By Manish K Pathak, Mumbai

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Thursday busted an indoor marijuana unit being run from a 2BHK flat at Dombivli where two persons were cultivating hybrid marijuana through hydroponic technique — without soil, using artificial light for photosynthesis and air circulation system.

The arrested accused are Javed Jahangir Shaikh and Arshad Khatri. NCB allegedly seized more than 1kg hybrid cannabis worth 80 lakh from the duo as well as equipment used to cultivate the contraband.

NCB zonal director Sameer Wankhede said, “Hydroponic weed is referred to cannabis and is grown without soil. The accused had procured the seeds from Amsterdam and the Netherlands through the dark web and sold the contraband material to suppliers in Mumbai and Pune at the rate of around 5,000 per gram. The peddlers, in turn, sold it to consumers at around 8,000 per gram.”

Shaikh and Khatri were nabbed from Dombivli. During interrogation, they disclosed the location of the flat where they cultivated marijuana. “We then raided the flat. Apart from drugs, we also seized several materials for cultivation, PH regulators, plant nutrients, clay pebbles, water pumps, air circulation systems, CO2 gas cylinders, photosynthesis lighting systems etc,” said Wankhede.

During interrogation, the agency learnt that the accused were allegedly producing drugs for more than a year in the flat owned by Rehan Khan, who lives in Saudi Arabia and allegedly financed the activity.

“Khan is a relative of Shaikh and financed the racket. Khatri is an expert in hydroponic cultivation while Shaikh used to manage distribution of harvest. We have been investigating to find out their entire network and connection with wanted accused Sahil Flacko,” police said.

The sale and purchase of drugs was done in cash and at times also in crypto currency. The drug suppliers mostly approached the customers through social media apps like snapchat and WhatsApp, Wankhede added.

The agency learnt about the drug unit run by Shaikh and Khatri during an interrogation of two drug suppliers — Ganesh Sakharam Shere and Siddarnth Amin — who were arrested with 310 gram hydroponic marijuana from Parel on April 12. Both peddlers were supplying the contraband which is highly expensive and are allegedly connected with drug supplier Sahil Shah alias Sahil Flacko, who is in the wanted list from August last year in connection with the drug link to the death of Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput.

In another operation, the agency arrested African national Onurah Samuel Mike from Versova and allegedly seized 30 grams of cocaine from him. During interrogation, Mike revealed that Nigerian national Celestian is a frequent visitor to Mumbai and brings cocaine. Celestian had given him 50 capsules (500 grams) during his last visit, which he then sold in Andheri, Bandra and Santacruz.

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Saturday, October 16, 2021