A man, Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan, pushed the boundaries of kitchen gardening by successfully cultivating marijuana in a controlled environment within a rented home in Defence Housing Authority (DHA).
Employing air-conditioning, precise temperature, and moisture control, he embarked on this unique venture.
In an unprecedented drug bust, Sarfaraz, a resident of Khayaban-e-Badar, was apprehended for the cultivation and sale of cannabis.
According to Atifur Rehman, the Secretary of the Excise and Taxation and Narcotics Control Department, the seized cannabis plants were estimated to be worth approximately Rs15 million.
During a press conference, Secretary Rehman, accompanied by Excise and Taxation Officers (ETOs) Waseem Khawaja, Sohail Abbas, and Ali Abbas, disclosed that Sarfaraz, a Canadian national, was intercepted by excise officials during a random checkpoint.
A search of his vehicle led to the discovery of both liquor and cannabis, resulting in his detention for further questioning.
Based on information provided by Sarfaraz during interrogation, an E&T team conducted a raid on his residence, uncovering an indoor nursery dedicated to cannabis plants.
He had ingeniously designed temperature-controlled boxes, resembling those used by food delivery services, to maintain ideal conditions for the plants, including temperature and humidity.
In addition to oxygen cylinders, he employed concentrators to supply the necessary oxygen, managing lighting with LED lights for the plants held in clay pots within these boxes.
Secretary Rehman elaborated that Sarfaraz had used imported seeds, specialized fertilizers, and foreign soil to nurture the cannabis plants, ultimately yielding the hallucinogenic drug marijuana.
The raid yielded 35 plants, cabin-like covers, two bags of foreign fertilizer, one bag of foreign soil, seven boxes of imported seeds, three temperature monitoring devices, a spray machine, and a small digital fork.
Secretary Rehman expressed concerns that similar marijuana cultivation operations might be operating elsewhere in the city and revealed that Sarfaraz was presented before a magistrate for a seven-day physical remand.
Furthermore, he urged parents to remain vigilant regarding their children’s activities, particularly in educational institutes where there were reports of new drugs being sold.
In response to inquiries, Atifur Rehman acknowledged the severe shortage of modern equipment within the excise department and had communicated these needs to the Sindh government.
He also disclosed that the Excise Department had registered 14 drug cases and arrested 15 individuals since September 1. Over the past 25 days, the department had seized 1,050kg of heroin, 800kg of bhang, 25kg of hashish, vehicles, motorcycles, and 400 liters of foreign liquor.