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Officers seize 69 pounds of khat at PHL

The shipment came from Germany and was on its way to Minneapolis when it was intercepted in Philly.

Khat seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in Philadelphia.
Khat seized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents in Philadelphia.Read moreU.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Well, well, well. Look at what the khat dragged in.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officers in Philadelphia seized nearly 69 pounds of khat, a schedule 1 drug, at Philadelphia International Airport last week.

The khat was in four packages sent from Frankfurt, Germany and bound for Minneapolis, Minn. CBP estimates it had a street value of about $18,000 when it was seized during a stopover in Philly on Oct. 25. No arrests have been made and the investigation remains ongoing.

Khat is a stimulant that comes in leaf form and is typically chewed or brewed into a tea. According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, khat can "reduce the user's motivation and can cause manic behavior with grandiose delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations."

It is legal in Africa and the Arabian peninsula and is a part of social customs in some societies there, but khat has been classified as a controlled substance in other parts of the world.

"Khat remains illegal to import into the United States and so CBP officers will continue to seize khat when we encounter it," said Joseph Martella, acting CBP Port Director for the Area Port of Philadelphia.

Perhaps if more people started asking questions about the drug, the substance would become less of a problem. Everybody knows curiosity killed the khat.