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Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday September 25, 2013 MYT 7:44:53 AM
by shaun ho
SEPANG: Foreigners are fuelling the demand for khat leaves and the Malaysians distributing it do not realise they are banned in Malaysia.
KLIA Customs director Datuk Chik Omar Chik Lim said those arrested usually claimed ignorance.
He said a 27-year-old Sabahan was arrested on Sept 8 and a 56kg shipment of khat leaves worth RM2,800 was seized.
“He was arrested when he came to collect the package and said he did not know it was illegal,” Chik Omar said at a press conference at the Customs Department complex here.
If found guilty, the man can be jailed between three and five years.
He said Yemeni nationals here were the biggest consumers of the leaves and demand was high since the leaves were cheap.
“It is normal for them to chew the leaves,” added Chik Omar, who compared it to locals chewing betel leaves or daun sirih.
Khat leaves contain cathinone, a substance listed in the Dangerous Drugs Act. The fresh leaves are chewed as a stimulant.
Custom officers have seized 492.7kg of khat leaves worth RM24,635 on seven occasions this year.
Chik Omar also said they had made four seizures, totalling 71.366kg of methemphatamine, worth RM2.92mil this month.
Tags / Keywords:
Courts & Crime, khat, methamphetamine, KLIA customs director datuk chik omar chik lim
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