Over 462 kilograms of khat, a stimulant drug made from the leaves and twigs of evergreen shrubs, were found by customs officers at the Prague Airport.
The drug was discovered in a cargo shipment from Dubai. “Similar shipments have been detained several times, but such a large amount is quite exceptional”, says the spokeswoman for Customs Administration, Šárka Miškovská.
In February, a man who flew a flight from Doha, Qatar, tried to smuggle 45 kilograms of edible kata into the Czech Republic. Last November, customs officers detained 142 kilograms in seven suitcases from Tel Aviv, while two weeks earlier, a man flying from Dubai had 33 kilograms of this drug in his luggage.
Khat is typically grown in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and is chewed for its stimulant effect. The World Health Organization classified khat as a drug of abuse in 1980.
The green khat leaves are chewed and a small ball of partially chewed leaves are held against the inside of the cheek (similar to chewing tobacco).
Dried leaves can also be chewed this way, though they are less potent. Some khat users also smoke the drug, make it into tea or sprinkle it on food, according to information provided by LiveScience.