Gardai and Revenue bag khat in €18k drug raid

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Khat is widely chewed in East Africa
A JOINT operation run by the Revenue Commissioners and gardai has resulted in the seizure of 9kg of the narcotic leaf khat in Limerick city.

A JOINT operation run by the Revenue Commissioners and gardai has resulted in the seizure of 9kg of the narcotic leaf khat in Limerick city.

“The drugs were seized following the controlled delivery of a package, which had originated in Kenya, to an address in Limerick city after the package had been detected earlier by Revenue officers in the postal system,” explained a spokesperson for the Revenue Commissioners.

“A 29-year-old Ethiopian male was arrested and detained under the drug trafficking legislation, at Henry Street Garda Station. A number of premises were searched last night (Thursday) and investigations are ongoing.”

The street value of the leaves seized in Limerick last night is estimated at around €18,000. It is one of the biggest such seizures in the history of the state.

Khat is a psychoactive leaf widely used in East Africa. Its sale and consumption is entirely legal in countries such as Ethiopia but it is a proscribed drug here.

The substance gained some notoriety in the west through the armed groups which gave it to child soldiers to chew during the civil wars in Somalia.