(Last Updated On: February 9, 2017)
US Customs and Border Patrol agents in Pittsburgh earlier this week intercepted a shipment market as “general products” as they were inspecting various packages. They found 100 pounds of a stimulant that was later found out to be dried khat (miraa) with an estimated value of $30,000 (Ksh3 million) in the US.
The khat was shipped together with a package of wigs and hair extension products from Kenya. They were headed for an address in Mckees, Pennsylvania.
“It is uncommon for Customs and Border Protection officers to encounter any sizable narcotics in Pittsburgh, so this was a great khat identification and interception by our CBP officers,” said Susan Anderson, CBP Port Director for the Port of Pittsburgh. “This khat interception is another example of how CBP’s border search authority and inspections expertise contributes to keeping our communities safe.”
Even though khat is legal in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia it is very illegal in the United States. No arrests have been made but investigations are still ongoing.
In the US khat has been classified as a Schedule I drug with the like of cocaine. Demand has however been high among communities of immigrants from the Middle East and East Africa.