— Customs and Border Protection officers recently seized more than 122 pounds of khat at the Indianapolis FedEx facility.
Hidden among computer parts, the large cache of khat was detected by CBP officers and intercepted on Friday.
Khat (pronounced “cot”) is found in Eastern Africa and southern Arabia. Like tobacco, the green leafy plant substance is chewed for its stimulant effect which causes a state of euphoria and elation while also causing an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
CBP officers in Indianapolis discovered the shipment of khat during a routine inspection of international air freight arriving from Great Britain. Upon examination, bundles of the illegal narcotic were discovered concealed within the computer housing components. The shipment of 122.83 pounds was destined for a city in Wisconsin.
No arrests have been made at this time; however, the information has been shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“Khat is a very perishable illegal amphetamine-like stimulant that is classified as a Schedule IV drug under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act,” William A. Ferrara, acting director of CBP Chicago Field Operations, said in a press release. “The CBP officers working in the international air freight environment are experts at locating shipments containing a variety of contraband that is illegal in this country and harmful to U.S. citizens.”
CBP officers and agriculture specialists are stationed at express consignment and cargo facilities throughout the country. CBP examines arriving international freight for all types of contraband or prohibited items being shipped to the United States.