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Lebanon News

Khat seizure at Lebanon airport, Ethiopian arrested

An Egypt Air airplane is seen parked in the tarmac of Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Thursday, July 4, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mahmoud Kheir )

BEIRUT: Lebanese authorities at Beirut’s international airport Sunday foiled an attempt to smuggle into the country a quantity of Khat from Ethiopia.

Customs officials at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport arrested 39-year-old Ethiopian woman, identified by her initials R.M., after nine kilograms of the banned substance were found in her suitcase.

The Khat was packed in nylon bags and covered with aluminum foil.

The woman, who claimed the Khat was for personal use, was interrogated by police at the airport and then referred to the Central Drug Control Office in Beirut for further investigation.

Khat, or qat, a plant-based stimulant, grows in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Yemen. Popular in parts of the Middle East and Africa, the plant is chewed for its euphoric effect.

 

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