Hidden among computer parts, the large cache of khat was detected by Customs officers and intercepted. They discovered the shipment during a routine inspection of international air freight arriving from Britain. Upon examination, bundles of the illegal narcotic khat were discovered concealed within the computer housing components. The shipment was destined for Wisconsin.
No arrests have been made at this time. However, the information has been shared with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
“Khat is a very perishable illegal amphetamine-like stimulant that is classified as a Schedule IV drug under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act,” said William A. Ferrara, acting director of Customs’ Chicago field operations.
Khat is found in eastern Africa and southern Arabia. Like tobacco, this 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.