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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai Crime News > Article > Mumbai NCB busts international khat smuggling ring

Mumbai: NCB busts international khat smuggling ring

Updated on: 04 December,2023 05:18 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan | faizan.khan@mid-day.com

Parcels from Kenya intercepted, one Yemeni national arrested

Mumbai: NCB busts international khat smuggling ring

The first parcel was intercepted on November 23. Representation Pic

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Key Highlights

  1. The NCB has successfully dismantled an international network
  2. Catha Edulis—commonly known as khat—is prohibited in India under the NDPS Act
  3. Intelligence revealed that West Asia-based drug network was involved in smuggling

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai has successfully dismantled an international network engaged in the illegal trafficking of ‘khat’ leaves into India. Catha Edulis—commonly known as khat—is prohibited in India under the NDPS Act, 1985.


Intelligence revealed that a West Asia-based drug network was involved in the smuggling of khat leaves into the country. Following this lead, a group of Yemeni nationals linked to the operation was identified, and surveillance on the suspects was initiated. Subsequently, actionable intelligence indicated the dispatch of a consignment through international courier services.


On November 23, a parcel from Kenya was intercepted at the Foreign Post Office (FPO), Mumbai, containing dry leaves that were concealed and later identified as khat leaves. The contraband weighed 3.960 kg in total. Further investigations led to the interception of another parcel, also from Kenya, at the FPO, weighing 2.989 kg.


A follow-up investigation identified a local associate acting as the kingpin in the operation in Mumbai, prompting the NCB to initiate a close surveillance operation in the Masjid Bunder area. This led to the arrest of Galal NMAA, a Yemeni national who attempted to take delivery of the consignments last week.

Khat, declared an illicit drug in several countries and included in the NDPS Act in 2018, has gained demand in the local drug circuit. This has led to the involvement of drug cartels, supplying khat at exorbitant prices in the illicit drug market. The NCB-Mumbai is conducting a thorough investigation into the matter.

7kg
Approx amount of khat leaves seized

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