Cops catch khat kilos

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Police patrolling the highway in Zevenaar arrested a 23-year-old Frenchman driving with 86 kilos of the stimulant khat. The Marechaussee military police made the bust Tuesday on the A-12 in Gelderland near the German border.

The mobile surveillance unit stopped the vehicle, but the driver was unable to show identification. This gave police cause to begin a deeper investigation, the Marechaussee says.


Kilos of khat seized in a highway bust on 24 Dec 2013 (photo: Marechaussee)

Bundles of khat were then found in the man's car, prompting the driver's arrest. He was scheduled for an initial court appearance yesterday.

Khat was officially banned by the Netherlands on 5 January 2013. The drug causes "increased blood pressure, a state of euphoria and elation with feelings of increased alertness and arousal," according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Reported side effects include aggressive behavior, anorexia, depression, insomnia, mood swings and even mouth cancer. The name refers to the leaves of a plant native to parts of the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

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