Bags of Khat seized in Port of Seattle (US Customs and Border Patrol)
Bags of Khat seized in Port of Seattle (US Customs and Border Patrol)

Khat is a highly addictive herb, say US Customs officials, that can cause dangerous behavior and health issues.

 Ten tons of Khat were seized in the Port of Seattle

According to the US Justice Department,, Khat is considered dangerous:

 "Khat abuse causes psychological dependence, and chronic abuse can lead to behavioral changes and mental health impairment. Clinical symptoms include manic behavior with grandiose delusions, violence, suicidal depression, and schizophreniform psychosis characterized by paranoid delusions"

The actual bust took place on May 27th, but the information was not released until Friday, July 22nd.  The US Customs and Border Patrol reports the Coast Guard teamed up with Customs and BP agents to inspect a container they suspected was carrying the drug. The large shipping container was in the Port of Seattle, but had not been offloaded for transport yet.

Inside, they found ten tons of the Schedule 1 narcotic, 623 boxes total. It had been bagged and was labeled as 'tea' and was bound for the City of Seattle. The street value of the illegal drug was estimated at $3.6 million.

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Khat, which originates from Africa, namely Kenya, was classified as a Schedule 1 illegal narcotic by the US in 1987. Its effects when chewed (like tobacco) or brewed for tea are considered extreme 'volatile' to a person (see the previously mentioned effects).

No word if any arrests were directly made during or just after the search.


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