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Police and customs officers confiscate 180 kilogrammes of khat

The police and customs officers at Zurich airport have revealed the quantities of drugs they have been able to confiscate over the past three months. These include 180 kilogrammes of khat, which is quite surprising as it is a drug which really needs to be consumed fresh, i.e. within 36 hours of being harvested. Indeed, the journalist writing about this in the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper likened it to trying to smuggle fresh strawberries into the country.
The drug is evident in the leaves of a flowering plant known as Catha edulis, which grows in Kenya and Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, and Yemen and Oman in the Arabian Peninsula.
According to Cantonal Police spokesman Stefan Oberlin, two men were caught with 120 kilogrammes of the drug in suitcases as they arrived from Kenya and Somalia, with a further 60 kilogrammes being sent here by post. Unlike other drugs, it is not really imported for selling on at a great profit. It is mainly used for personal consumption and its price per kilogramme is quite cheap.
Between January and March, 142 grammes of the drug, was confiscated at Kloten. In fact the largest amount of drugs at Zurich Airport also related to a consignment of khat, after 4.7 tonnes of it was found there. The dried leaves can be drunk as tea or smoked, with an effect similar to amphetamine, though to a lesser extent.
As to the other drugs found at Kloten over the three-month period between April and June, these included eight kilogrammes of heroin and cocaine, more than three kilogrammes of marijuana and 14 kilogrammes of various so-called designer drugs. On one occasion one person was found to have been carrying 600 grammes of cocaine in fingerlings in his body. One courier, who had arrived from Pakistan, was found to have been carrying heroin in luggage he had checked in.
The four men detained in relation to these drug offences were aged between 25 and 61 and came from Estonia, the United Kingdom, Pakistan and Spain. 

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