Bulgaria Customs Seize Ethiopian Qat at Sofia Airport
Deliveries with a total weight of 28 kg containing qat, a psychoactive plant, have been confiscated by Bulgarian customs officers, the customs agency has said.
The entire quantity, worth around BGN 0.9 M (EUR 0.45 M), was confiscated at Sofia airport. Its final destinations were Belgium and the Netherlands.
Meanwhile in the area of Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city, a Bulgarian national was detained in relation to the affair, the agency informs.
Deliveries of qat, usually declared as tea coming from Kenya or Ethiopia, are "a new development" for Bulgaria, the agency says in its 2015 report, adding that as many as 36 attempts to smuggle qat leaves into the country have been thwarted by authorities.
The plant is known for its active substances that could possibly cause excitement and euphoria and has been on the WHO's drug of abuse list since 1980 (even though the organization made clear dependence developed by the consumption of qat is weaker than the one to tobacco or alcohol).
Grown in many areas of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, it is widespread among the population of countries such as Yemen.
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