Multiple International Parcel containing Khat Seized in Philadelphia, PA

Multiple International Parcel containing Khat Seized in Philadelphia, PA

In a single week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Philadelphia’s international express courier facility seized 6 shipments of khat, a shipment of codeine, and another shipment of steroids.

Beginning Thursday, February 27, 2013, officers intercepted a parcel destined for Cromwell, Connecticut. The label read, “Addidas Junior Bags,” but an x-ray of the package showed irregularities within. Once the parcel was opened, officers found 24 pounds, 4 ounces of khat contained inside.

When the leaves are freshly picked, khat (a plant which produces a stimulant effect when chewed) is classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as a Schedule I narcotic. Cathine and cathinone, the main components of khat, are regarded as controlled substances in the United States.

Two additional seizures of khat were made on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. The first parcel, weighing 22 pounds, 3 ounces, was destined for Skokie, Illinois with a label reading, “Document Procedures.” The second parcel, weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces, was destined for West Dundee, Illinois with a label reading, “Reports.”

That same Wednesday, 140 tablets containing codeine were discovered in a parcel headed to Rochester, Minnesota with a label reading, “Samples.” Codeine is classified as a Schedule III narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The following day, Thursday, March 6, 2014, another 2 parcels were found to contain khat. The first package, labeled “Mobile Phone Accessories,” was headed for Minneapolis, Minnesota, containing 23 pounds, 9 ounces of khat. The second parcel, labeled “Project Development Group Report,” contained 16 pounds, 12 ounces of khat and was destined for Skokie, Illinois.

That same day, 10 vials of Decatest 350 and 6 vials of Megabol 275, were located in a parcel labeled, “Non Documents Amino Methyl Propanal.” Each vial contained 10 ml of the anabolic steroids. This package was destined for Everett, Massachusetts.

On Friday, March 7, 2014, the largest find of all, 46 pounds, 15 ounces of khat, was discovered in a parcel headed to Riverwoods, Illinois, under the label of “Decorative Artistic Handicrafts.”

In all, the Philadelphia U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized a total of 150 pounds of khat with an estimated street value of $45,000.

Below are pictures of Khat.

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