An Ethiopian national was arrested at the Mumbai International Airport while trying to smuggle 60 kilograms of Khat leaves, a globally banned herbal drug.
According to sources, Mohammed Hamza Abdi, 23, was apprehended on his arrival at the Mumbai airport from Ethiopia on May 4.
Security personnel checked his three bags out of suspicion and nearly 60kg of the contraband leaves were seized.
After ascertaining that the possession of the drugs is illegal, and that the act is chargeable under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985, he was handed over to the officials of the Air Intelligence Unit (AIU) and arrested.
The leafy plant acts as a stimulant when chewed. The two main stimulants in khat speed up the user’s mind and body like a less powerful amphetamine. The drug can make pre-existing mental health problems worse and provoke feelings of anxiety and aggression.
Abdi claimed he has the required phytosanitary certificate, an official document issued by the plant protection organization of the exporting country to its counterpart of the importing country.
However, security officials did not buy his claims as the leaves are banned in most countries, except, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Israel.
Further probe revealed that Abdi was smuggling the drugs on the instruction of an Ethiopian student studying in Mumbai. Abdi was to get $1000 for this work, said a police source.
Source: Hindustan Times