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Philadelphia CBP Intercepts 19 Pounds of Minnesota-Bound Khat

Release Date: 
January 18, 2018

PHILADELPHIA – With a huge conference championship game on the horizon, Philadelphia is already winning the turnover battle over Minnesota. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in the City of Brotherly Love recently intercepted a khat load targeted for an address in Minnetonka, Minn.

Philadelphia CBP officers intercepted this khat bound for Minnesota on January 11, 2018.
Philadelphia CBP officers intercepted this khat
bound for Minnesota on January 11, 2018.

During inspections of arriving express delivery packages January 11, CBP officers examined a parcel manifested as “HR Project Guidelines & Research” that was shipped from Madrid, Spain.  Inside the parcel, CBP officers discovered a little more than 19 pounds of khat. 

The khat, which has a street value of about $5,000 will be destroyed.

“This khat seizure demonstrates Customs and Border Protection officers’ effectiveness at searching through the haystack of tens of thousands of international parcels to find the proverbial needle of illicit contraband,” said Edward Moriarty, CBP’s Acting Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “Khat remains illegal to import into the United States and so CBP officers will continue to seize khat when we encounter it.  Drug interdiction at our nation’s borders is one way in which CBP helps to keep our communities safe.”

Khat is a green, leafy plant typically grown in the Arabian Peninsula and chewed for its stimulant effect. The World Health Organization classified khat as a drug of abuse in 1980.

The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies khat as a schedule 1 narcotic – the most restrictive category used by the DEA – when the leaves are freshly picked. Its principal components, cathine and cathinone, are considered controlled substances in the United States. Please see more information on the DEA Khat Fact Sheet.

“Narcotics interdiction remains an enforcement priority for Customs and Border Protection,” said Casey Owen Durst, CBP’s Field Operations Director in Baltimore, the agency’s operational commander in the mid-Atlantic region. “CBP officers remain ever vigilant in combating the flow of illicit and dangerous drugs from entering the United States at our nation’s ports of entry.”

CBP routinely conducts random inspections operations on international passengers and cargo and searches for narcotics, unreported currency, weapons, prohibited agriculture, and other illicit products.

On a typical day, CBP seizes more than 9,000 pounds of illicit drugs along our nation’s borders. Learn more about what CBP's accomplishes in "A Typical Day."

Please visit CBP Ports of Entry to learn how CBP Field Operations secures our nation’s borders.

Last modified: 
January 18, 2018