DUUREANTA (HARROULE IV) – Planetary authorities have reported the seizure of more than a million kilograms of illegally produced pharmaceutical-grade khuska oil.

Tanvir Vasumati, chief inspector of the Duureanta Narcotics Task Force, said the oil was discovered in shipping containers marked as industrial lubricant. The manifest showed the shipment was bound for an outpost in Serpentis-controlled space.

“This isn’t the first of these types of operations that we’ve uncovered, but it certainly is the largest,” Vasumati said.

Khuska oil, produced from the seeds of the plant of the same name, can be used in the preparation of pain relieving medications. However, it can also be refined into a potent narcotic. The native population also uses a paste made from the seeds as food.

Although Khuska cultivation is not regulated on Duureanta, refining it to pharmaceutical-grade requires a specific permit and all output must be strictly accounted for. This accounting is accomplished, in part, by genetic registration. The seized khuska oil is unregistered and it is unclear where it was produced.

“It’s unlikely that it came from a single site, so we’ll be looking for multiple clandestine facilities,” Vasumati said.

Illegal production of khuska oil is not new to Duureanta, but some are now wondering if Ishukone-Raata Enforcer Government’s recently publicized “Operation Overwatch” might have something to do with this latest upswing. According to recently declassified documents, the Ishukone-Raata operation has been under way since August.

Through its “Overwatch” activities, Ishukone-Raata resources have been allocated to legally produce synth grade pharmaceutical combat/recreational boosters. The result has been a decrease in the raw materials Serpentis operations require to make illicit narcotics. By Ishukone’s internal estimates, the operation has resulted in Serpentis losses of more than 7 billion isk.

On Duureanta, khuska farmers have enjoyed a productive growing season with near record yields in many provinces. Despite the apparent surplus, market prices remain near or slightly above the level seen at the same time last year.

Farmer Udyan LeSoir laughed out loud when asked if narcotics producers were behind the prices.

“Khuska is the food of life,” he said. “Go to any restaurant and it’s on the menu. Go to any home and it’s in the kitchen. People pay for what the want.”

One thing remains certain, with the year’s second planting beginning to sprout, law enforcement officials will be keeping a close eye out-bound cargo for the foreseeable future.