of the African hallucinogen khat is taking off, Canada Customs
officials said following a seizure of the drug at Calgary
officers stopped a passenger who arrived off an airliner from
England yesterday, and discovered 6.4 kg of the drug in two
have been about 60 seizures like this at Pearson International
in Toronto, and this could be just the tip of the iceberg
here," said Canada Customs spokesman Gordon Luchia, adding
yesterday's seizure had an estimated street value of $1,300.
is a plant cultivated in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen and Somalia.
"When the leaves are ingested, a euphoric effect is felt,
ranging from increased alertness and happiness to insomnia,
anorexia and hallucinations," said Luchia.
of large quantities can cause slurred speech, staggering,
an inability to concentrate and can provoke outrage."
said the usual smuggling route for the drug, which is illegal
in Canada, is through the British Isles.
moved from Africa into England, where it isn't illegal, and
from there into Canada," he said. Hussein Ahmed Idan, of Calgary,
was charged by the RCMP with possession of a controlled substance
for the purposes of trafficking.
to appear in provincial court tomorrow.