IT company engineer in Chennai arrested for drug smuggling


A 27-year-old aeronautical engineer working in a city based information technology (IT) company was arrested for smuggling narcotics drug, said Commissioner of Customs, Chennai International Airport on Friday.

In a statement issued, the Commissioner said the department got information about some narcotics drugs that are likely to be smuggled through postal parcels from Africa.

Five parcels, one declared as containing flower vases and the other four declared to contain rosemary and dried spices from Nairobi, that arrived at the Foreign Post Office, Chennai were held back.

There were eleven wooden vases that were sealed and on opening them, Khat leaves were found concealed inside. The remaining four parcels also contained Khat leaves.

An amount of 46.8 kg Khat leaves valued at Rs 1.17 crore were seized, the statement said.

An evergreen shrub mainly cultivated in east Africa and South Yemen, Khat (Catha edulis), also known as Miraa, is a stimulant drug and is prohibited under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

It contains alkaloids cathinone and cathine, amphetamine-like stimulants, which cause euphoria.

Khat is mainly chewed for its soporific effect but some boil it in water and drink it like tea and it has a dependence producing ability.

In March 2020, the Chennai Air Customs had seized 15.6 kg of Khat leaves valued at Rs 40 lakh which had arrived from Addis Ababa at the Foreign Post Office here.