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Philly CBP Seizes 100 Pounds of Khat Destined for Chicago

Release Date: 
April 9, 2014

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers continue to strike khat gold arriving in international parcels at the international express courier facility near Philadelphia International Airport.

The latest haul totaled 100 pounds and was destined to an address in Chicago. The khat has an approximate street value of about $30,000.

CBP officers selected two parcels, manifested as “topographical drawings,” for an x-ray examination and discovered four smaller boxes inside that contained the bundled green, leafy khat.CBP Officers seize 100 lbs of khat at the international express courier facility near Philadelphia International Airport April 2, 2013

CBP officers also seized 200 tablets of Methyl-1-Testosterone and 200 tablets of Oxymetholone, classified as schedule III anabolic steroids. The parcels, manifested as “cosmetics,” arrived April 1 and were destined to an address in Illinois.

“Customs and Border Protection recognizes the tremendous access the internet provides U.S. consumers to the global marketplace, however; consumers should understand that certain products imported from this global marketplace remain regulated by U.S. laws,” said Susan Stranieri, CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia. “CBP is charged with enforcing these import restrictions, including laws governing illicit narcotics and pharmaceutical products.”

Inspecting international parcels for dangerous and illicit products remains a CBP enforcement priority.

Khat is a green, leafy plant typically grown in the Arabian Peninsula and chewed for its stimulant effect.

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.

The World Health Organization classified khat as a drug of abuse in 1980. It is chewed for its stimulant effect and retains its potency for up to 48 hours after being harvested.

Please see the DEA Khat Fact Sheet at

CBP routinely conducts random inspections operations on passengers and air cargo searching for narcotics, currency, weapons and other prohibited or illicit products.

For more on CBP’s border security mission at our nation’s ports of entry, please visit the At Ports of Entry page.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017