In an unprecedented case in Gujarat, three individuals, including a woman, were recently booked by the Sarkhej Police for cultivating cannabis using hydroponic techniques in a flat located in Orchid Legacy, Makarba, Ahmedabad - their modus operandi uncannily similar to a certain Guy Ritchie flick.
This illicit operation came to light when concerned residents reported suspicious parcels frequently moving in and out of the flat. Acting on these tips, the police conducted a raid on the premises and discovered an astonishing 100 flower pots used for cultivating cannabis.
Flash:— Yuvraj Singh Mann (@yuvnique) September 5, 2023
Three people including a woman were booked by Sarkhej Police for cultivating ganja using hydroponic technique in a flat in Orchid Legacy in Makarba in #Ahmedabad. #Gujarat pic.twitter.com/snoHvGDauK
The clandestine operation feels awfully similar to Guy Ritchie's 1998 British black-comedy, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, which features a familiar indoor cannabis cultivation racket out of a small flat in Britain.
This method of hydroponic cultivation is unusual in Gujarat, and allowed the accused to significantly accelerate the growth process, contrary to the usual 150-160 days required for cannabis plants to mature. The accused utilised various techniques to maintain optimal conditions for plant growth.
Specializing in hydroponics Contact me if you need help#hydroponic pic.twitter.com/bMzbbRMszY— Auma Agriculture (@AlpineBorn29120) September 2, 2023
This illicit operation had been running for approximately one and a half months before being uncovered. The accused had rented two flats in the apartment complex and constructed a makeshift greenhouse for cannabis cultivation. Each flat was rented for a substantial sum of Rs 35,000 per month.
The accused were identified as people from Eastern states, primarily Jharkhand. They had a well-organised operation, with one of the accused's brothers sourcing specific chemicals from Chennai for the cultivation process. Forensic experts were called in to determine the exact quantity of cannabis produced.
The three individuals arrested in this operation were Ravi Musarka, Viren Mahadi, and Ratika Prasad. They were booked under the relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The accused chose Gujarat for their indoor farming operation due to the state's reliable and continuous power supply, which is crucial for maintaining controlled temperature conditions.
As part of the investigation, the police also seized 48 planters, water tanks, RO plants, oxygen cylinders, air conditioning units, fans, and various other items related to the illicit hydroponic cultivation. The investigation is ongoing, and further details will be revealed as it progresses.
In a case similar to the one in Ahmedabad, a few months ago in Chennai, a group of individuals found themselves on the wrong side of the law. These four individuals had ingeniously transformed a room in their rented apartment into a makeshift greenhouse. This "grow-op" was equipped with LED lights to mimic natural sunlight and an air-conditioning system to regulate the climate, all in the service of cultivating ganja, a prohibited substance.
These fresh cases underscore the convergence of technology - like the use of hydroponic cultivation and LED lights - with illegal enterprises that continue to present unique challenges for authorities in their ongoing efforts to combat drug-related offenses.