Friday, December 28, 2012

Customs and Border Protection officers seize more than 200 pounds of khat at Washington Dulles International Airport (KIAD), Virginia

 Photo Courtesy/U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 
CPB officials seized 96.92 kilograms, or 213 pounds, 10.7 ounces of khat at Washington Dulles International Airport Dec. 21. It is the largest shipment of the plant seized since 2010, when officers seized 385 pounds of the plant.

Customs and Border Protection officers seized almost 214 pounds of khat Dec. 21, a plant typically grown in the Arabian peninsula whose leaves are chewed for stimulant effect. 

It was shipped as air freight from Doha, Qatar to Washington Dulles International Airport. CPB officers found the khat as part of a routine of inspection of freight manifested as coffee tables. The shipment has a street value of $30,000. It was shipped by a wood working company in Kenya to a furniture store in Washington, D.C.

Khat, which the Drug Enforcement Administration classifies as a schedule 1 narcotic is legal in some African countries. It is used by men in Somali, Ethiopian, Kenyan and Yemeni cultures, according to the DEA.

“Khat remains an illegal substance in the United States and as such, Customs and Border Protection officers remain vigilant to intercept khat and other illicit and dangerous drugs at our nation’s borders,” said Christopher Hess, CBP Port Director for the Port of Washington, D.C. in a press release. “Narcotics interdiction remains a CBP enforcement priority.”

Prosecution was declined and the CPB officers seized and destroyed the khat.

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