Woman arrested for smuggling 35 kilos of Qat

August 24, 2012

An Ethiopian woman is in Kuwaiti police custody after she was arrested for attempting to smuggle 35 kilos of (khat) qat, a banned substance in the country.

The attempt was foiled after airport customs officials suspected the arriving passenger and a thorough search of her bags revealed the existence of the substance, local Arabic daily Al Rai has reported.

“It has been quite a long time since a woman tried to smuggle banned substances into Kuwait,” sources told the daily.

Ebrahim Al Ganem, the head of customs, praised the competence of his staff.

“There are people who believe that our personnel would not be so vigilant during the month of Ramadan and that they have better chances to smuggle in banned items or substances,” he said. “This operation shows that we are always well prepared,” he said, quoted by the daily.

Khat — catha edulis — is popular in Yemen where it is considered the national pastime despite regular warnings that it was ravaging the country’s economy.

However, it is banned in Kuwait and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

In April, a Yemeni man and an Ethiopian woman were arrested by officials from the Directorate General for Drug Control (DGDC) for trading in khat.

Local media reported that the officials made the arrests after they were tipped-off that a Yemeni driver in his 30s was selling khat to his compatriots. Following close monitoring of his movements, he was arrested and six kilos of khat were recovered.

He reportedly told police that he received the supplies from an Ethiopian woman who was eventually arrested. She said that an Ethiopian man supplied the khat, but that he was at the time out of Kuwait.




About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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