AHMEDABAD: The Ahmedabad zonal unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Monday seized 115kg of khat, or Catha edulis leaves, valued at Rs 3 crore in the international market, which had been imported from Ethiopia as “Moringa leaves”. Some 96kg of khat leaves was seized in Ahmedabad and 19kg in Bharuch.
Khat is a psychotropic substance prohibited under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. It is a flowering plant native to the Horn of Africa and Arabian peninsula. It contains a monoamine alkaloid called cathinone or cathine, which is an amphetamine-like stimulant.
DRI officials said the agency gathered intelligence that two courier companies, Skyking Express Parcel Service from Bharuch and Fast Track Express from Ahmedabad, were importing and exporting Khat leaves from the foreign post office in Ahmedabad and the courier cell at the air cargo complex in the city.
It was also found that the duo was exporting khat leaves to the USA, UK, and other countries, by declaring it as dried green tea, from the courier cell at the air cargo complex in Ahmedabad. In the last two or three months, they exported approximately 1,500kg of khat leaves.
Chirag and Ravi were arrested under the NDPS Act and produced before a special NDPS court which sent them to judicial custody. Further investigation is on in the case.