Officials weed out marijuana ‘factory’ at DHA home

Canadian-Pakistani national caught growing cannabis in air-conditioned boxes with imported seeds, soil

Ehtesham Mufti September 25, 2023
An E&T team raided the house and found an indoor nursery of cannabis plants. PHOTO: EXPRESS


Taking kitchen gardening to next level, a man successfully raised marijuana in a controlled environment with the help of air-conditioners, temperature and moisture control at a rented home in Defence Housing Authority (DHA).

In this unique case of drug bust, a Khayaban-e-Badar resident, Sarfaraz Ahmed Khan, was arrested for growing and selling weed. Per the Excise and Taxation and Narcotics Control Department Secretary Atifur Rehman the value of the seized cannabis plants was worth around Rs15 million.


Addressing a press conference flanked by Excise and Taxation Officers (ETOs) Waseem Khawaja, Sohail Abbas and Ali Abbas, he said that Sarfaraz, a Canadian national, was caught during snap checking by the excise officials on Sunday. “The suspect was going in his car, when he got caught at a picket set up by the excise officials. The excise police recovered liquor and cannabis from Sarfraz’s car and detained him for questioning,” Excise secretary told the media.


Acting on details provided by Sarfaraz during the interrogation, an E&T team raided the house and found an indoor nursery of cannabis plants.

He had crafted temperature-controlled boxes, like the ones used by the food delivery services, for keeping the plants at a particular temperature and humidity level.


In addition to oxygen cylinders, concentrators were also used to supply the required oxygen with lighting management through LED lights for the plants kept in clay pots inside the boxes.

Read also: Karachi police ‘spoil’ party, arrest 11 in DHA guest house raid

Rehman further said that Sarfaraz was using imported seed, special types of imported fertilizers, and imported soil, to grow cannabis plants that finally yield the hallucinatory drug marijuana.

In the raid, 35 plants, cabin-like covers, two bags of foreign fertilizer, one bag of foreign soil, seven boxes of imported seeds, three temperature check devices, a spray machine and a small digital fork were recovered.


The Excise secretary said it was most likely that marijuana cultivation was taking place at other such places in the city. He said that Sarfaraz was produced before a magistrate to acquire a seven-day physical remand for interrogation.

He said that there are reports of new drugs being sold in educational institutes and parents should keep watch on the suspicious activities of their children.

In response to a question, Atifur Rehman said that the excise department has a severe shortage of modern equipment and has informed the Sindh government about these needs. The secretary said that the Excise Department registered 14 drug cases and arrested 15 people since September 1.

In the past 25 days, the department has seized 1,050kg of heroin, 800kg of bhang, 25kg hashish, vehicles, motorcycles and 400 litres of foreign liquor.


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