Border Patrol Seizes 100 Pounds Of Khat In Philly - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Border Patrol Seizes 100 Pounds Of Khat In Philly

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Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
PHILADELPHIA -

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it has seized another large shipment of khat in Philadelphia.

The intercepted shipment was found in parcels at the international express courier facility near Philadelphia International Airport.

Khat is a green, leafy plant typically grown in the Arabian Peninsula and chewed for its stimulant effect.

The CBP's latest haul totaled 100 pounds, and officers say it was destined to an address in Chicago. It has an approximate street value of about $30,000.

The CBP says officers selected two parcels, identified in the manifest as "topographic drawings," for an x-ray examination and found four smaller boxes inside containing the bundled green, leafy khat.

The officers also seized 200 tablets of Methyl-1-Testosterone and 200 tablets of Oxymetholone, which are anabolic steroids. These parcels were on the manifest as "cosmetics" and April 1. They were destined to an address in Illinois.

The World Health Organization classified khat as a drug of abuse in 1980. It is chewed for its stimulant effect and retains its potency for up to 48 hours after being harvested.

The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies khat as a schedule 1 narcotic – the most restrictive category used by the DEA – when the leaves are freshly picked. Its principal components, cathine and cathinone, are considered controlled substances in the United States, according to the CBP, which conducts random inspections operations on passengers and air cargo searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.

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