Imported seeds were cultivated into high-quality cannabis and sold for Rs 2,000 a gram.
Mumbai: The brain behind ‘hydroponic’ cannabis farming is a bachelor of technology graduate (B-Tech) from Kanyakumari, said officials of the Mumbai crime branch adding that a severe cash crunch owing to his addiction to do assortment of drugs pushed him into peddling his own home-grown cannabis.
The crime branch arrested Frenics Rajaiya (26) late on Tuesday following which he revealed the vicious circle of music, drugs and debt that led him to begin ‘hydroponic’ growing of cannabis. Rajaiya told the investigators that his love for pop and rock music drove him to do drugs.
The officials of unit III of crime branch has learnt that the accused also smuggled cocaine and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) papers apart from premium varieties of cannabis seeds and mephedrone (MD).
“After having done locally available quality of narcotics, he found the websites that could supply him good quality narcotics. He placed orders via the dark net for cannabis, cocaine and LSD papers. Following exhaustive expenditure on this, he decided to establish a clientele for himself and offered good quality hash and weed for which he imported eight varieties of premium quality cannabis seeds,” said a crime branch officer.
Huge quantities of opium and equipment, including a pH soil tester and high-power LED lights, have also been seized, officials said.
The officials said that Rajaiya with the help of his friend Nikhil Sharma (26) and another wanted accused, decided to start ‘hydroponic’ growth method to overcome the cash crunch. The imported seeds were cultivated into premium quality hash and weed and sold for `2,000 a gram, which was four time the normal rates.
The college students were lured into drugs via word of mouth and the number of orders rose dramatically over the period, as did the customers, whose number stands over 150 currently. The officials said that all of them are students and out of those, the regular customers were part of Rajaiya’s WhatsApp group.
The unit III officers have recorded statements of four such students as a part of the investigation and have contacted few more for the details of the suppliers. The police tea-ms are now on the lookout of the third accomplice of the arrested duo.
‘Hydroponics’ is a method of growing plants in a water-based, nutrient-rich solution.
‘Hydroponics’ does not use soil, instead the root system is supported using an inert medium such as perlite, rockwool, clay pellets, peat moss, or vermiculite.