Canada Border Services Agency

Canada Border Services Agency

November 10, 2005 12:18 ET

CBSA: 170 kilos of khat seized in Ottawa

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) - The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced today that one person is under investigation following a seizure of 170 kilos of khat in Ottawa. The joint investigation involves the CBSA, the RCMP and the Ottawa Police Service (OPS).

The seizure, which took place on November 7, is the second-largest khat seizure to date by CBSA officers at the Ottawa Air Cargo Centre. The drugs, valued at $85,000, were frozen and found wrapped in banana leaves in a wooden crate shipped from England.

One individual will appear in an Ottawa court in January on charges of importing and possession of a narcotic for the purpose of trafficking under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The RCMP and the OPS are looking for other suspects believed to be involved in the case and more charges may be laid as the investigation continues.

Khat (Catha edulis) is the green leaf of a plant native to east Africa. When the green parts of the plant are ingested, the active ingredients in khat (cathine and cathinone) produce a stimulant effect similar to an amphetamine.

Under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, it is illegal to import khat into Canada. For more information on khat and its effects, visit the Health Canada Web site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.

Digital photos available upon request.

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