Friday, March 06, 2020

15kg khat leaves seized at Chennai airport

Chennai: Customs officials at Chennai airport seized 15.6kg of dried khat leaves being smuggled into the country from Ethiopia.
Based on information that some narcotics drug was likely to be smuggled in through postal parcel arriving from Africa, the Postal Intelligence Unit of Air Customs detained one parcel at Foreign Post Office Chennai which had arrived from Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

Customs officials said as the suspect parcel was not carrying any declaration about the contents, it was taken up for examination.

It was found to have eight packets wrapped in silver/pink metallic gift wrap paper. Further, on opening the gift wrap paper pink polythene bags were found in which green coloured dried leaves, suspected to be ‘khat leaves,’ were present.

Total 15.6kg of dried leaves, worth Rs 40 lakh, were recovered and same were seized under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Customs officials said khat (Catha edulis), also known as miraa, is a stimulant drug and is prohibited under the NDPS Act 1985.

Samples of khat leaves had been sent to laboratory for confirmatory test, the official added.

The postal parcel was consigned to an address in Chennai. When searches were carried out at the consignee address, it was found to be fake.
03/03/20 Siddharth Prabhakar/Times of India
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