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500kgs of dry khat destined for US, Austria, Australia seized

Kenya Revenue Authority officials had issued a Seizure Notice on the goods, during the screening on Monday/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Detectives at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport have seized 500 kilogrammes of dry khat concealed as tea packets, destined for the United States, Australia, and Austria.

The dry khat had been packed in 52 bags, all branded as tea packets and had been sent by various exporters.

Kenya Revenue Authority officials had issued a Seizure Notice on the goods, during the screening on Monday.

One suspect has since been arrested as police carry on with the investigations.

The seizure happens just a week after a similar one at the airport where detectives recovered heroin concealed in boxes of Lip Gloss totaling to 48 pieces, destined for Nigeria.

Yet in another incident, detectives recovered 12kgs of heroin that had been concealed as traditional baskets and sandals.

The consignment which was destined for Monrovia-Liberia was delivered for export by a clearing agent.

JKIA, the largest and busiest airport in East Africa is considered as a regional hub for the transnational crime like drug trafficking.

On February 26, detectives nabbed heroin worth Sh1.5 million, which was destined for the Republic of Guinea.

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In 2018, KRA intercepted narcotics at the JKIA that had been declared as candy.

The narcotics were concealed in a package of vitamin tablets that consisted of 26 vape cartridges filled with cannabis oil and five sachets each weighing one gram of hashish.

The package was further subjected to scanning and thereafter intrusive verification. Samples were also drawn and forwarded to the Customs laboratory for qualitative spot tests which indicated the presence of the narcotics.

In August 2018, three foreigners on transit to China and India were arrested with narcotics at the JKIA.

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