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2,061 kg of ‘khat’ seized from container near Canada-U.S. border

Drugs found in shipping container
CBSA officers located more than 2,000kg of khat destined for Canada. (Black Press Media File)

The Canada Border Services Agency has seized more than 2,000 kg of ‘khat’ from a container destined for Canada.

While the CBSA did not specify where the seizure was made, the CBSA said in a news release that its Metro Vancouver Marine Operations department was involved.

Khat is an illegal leafy green plant that can be used as a stimulant.

CBSA said its Pacific Region Intelligence Section and the National Targeting Centre identified a “container of interest” and referred it for examination. The marine container, imported from Kenya, was declared to contain bags of tea leaves.

“Border services officers from Metro Vancouver Marine Operations examined the container using a wide range of detection tools and technology, and upon physical inspection, noted discrepancies in the packaging and the substance within the bags,” the release said.

Officers sent 125 bags containing a “dried leafy substance” to a lab for analysis and identification.

The analysis confirmed the substance as khat (Catha Edulis), a stimulant drug derived from a shrub indigenous to East Africa and Southern Arabia.

Khat, CBSA notes, is listed under Schedule IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act.

“The active ingredients contained in khat are cathine and cathinone, which produce a stimulant effect similar to amphetamine when the green parts of the plant are ingested,” CBSA said in the release. “Khat is a stimulant that since 2005 has been considered by the World Health Organization as an addictive drug of abuse. There are no accepted medical uses for khat.”

A total of 2,061 kg of khat was seized. The CBSA has seized 2,269 kg of khat the first quarter of 2021-2022.

About the Author: Aaron Hinks

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