|Hải Phòng’s Customs officer use dogs to detect khát leaves hidden in an imported container. — Photo baohaiquan.vn|
HẢI PHÒNG — Police and customs in northern Hải Phòng City yesterday discovered 3.6 tonnes of khát (Khat) leaves in a container.
The container was imported from Somali and arrived in Nam Hải Đình Vũ Port early last month. According to records, the container contained tea but police found khát leaves instead after opening it yesterday.
The container was addressed to a local company specialising in import and re-export activities. The company refused to take the goods. The case is under investigation.
Khát, or catha edulis, is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and contains a monoamine alkaloid called cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant, which is said to cause excitement, loss of appetite and euphoria.
In 1980, the World Health Organisation classified it as a drug of abuse that can produce mild to moderate psychological dependence, although the organisation did not consider khat to be seriously addictive.
Khát is illegal or used as a controlled substance in many countries, including Việt Nam, although its production, sale and consumption are legal in some African nations. — VNS