Somalian refugees detained over smuggling 582 kg of khat

About 582 kilograms of khat, a stimulant plant, has been seized by Latvia's Customs Police. Three people recognized as refugees in Slovenia and Austria were detained in connection with the case, the State Revenue Service said on March 9.

The Customs Police seized several shipments from Kenya, organized by Somalian nationals.

The largest shipment had been carried on an airplane from Turkey. It had 21 cardboard boxes with plants labelled as henna. However following laboratory tests it turned out it contained 432 kilograms of Catha edulis, known as khat.

The same day the Customs Police seized another shipment of about 44 kg of khat (identified visually) in another shipment from Kenya, and seized another shipment of 106 kg three days later. 

Three suspects were detained in Rīga and two of them are being held behind bars.

It's estimated that the seized drug is worth around €500,000 on the black market.

Khat is illegal in most of the EU.

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