The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has announced that last month its Pacific Region Intelligence Section, with assistance from the Agency’s National Targeting Centre, identified a container of interest and referred it for examination. The marine container, imported from Kenya, was declared to contain bags of tea leaves.
Border services officers from the Metro Vancouver Marine Operations examined the container using a wide range of detection tools and technology, and upon physical inspection, noted discrepancies in the packaging and the substance within the bags. 125 bags were found to contain a dried leafy substance which was sent for analysis and identification.
The analysis confirmed the substance as khat (Catha Edulis), a stimulant drug derived from a shrub and indigenous to East Africa and Southern Arabia. A total of 2,061 kg of khat was seized by CBSA.
Khat and its derivatives are listed under Schedule IV of the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. The active ingredients contained in khat are cathine and cathinone, which produce a stimulant effect similar to amphetamine when the green parts of the plant are ingested. Khat is a stimulant that since 2005 has been considered by the World Health Organization as an addictive drug of abuse. There are no accepted medical uses for khat.