Students from Yemen were caught while trying to send khat, a drug popular in Somalia, Yemen and Ethiopia, to Mumbai
A new recreational drug is supposed to be in circulation in Mysuru city which is mostly popular among college students. Called ‘khat’, it closely resembles cannabis (weed) and sources say it is the new drug on the block that has caught the fancy of college students.
‘Khat’ is a international drug, popular in African countries of Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen. Most people smoke it by rolling it up like a cigarette. International students are alleged to be the source of this new drug.
This came to light when two foreign students from Yemen were spotted by the Lashkar police in Mysuru while they were trying to send a parcel of khat to Mumbai through a courier company. One was caught while the other managed to escape. The apprehended student has been identified as Amja Abdho Khasim Abdulla, while the one who absconded is Ibrahim. Both are final year BCA students of a private college in Mysuru and were roommates at the Arabic College Hostel.
Said a source, “The two students from Yemen were spotted by the Lashkar police quite by chance at a courier company office in the city. Khasim Abdulla and Ibrahim were in the office to send a parcel to Mumbai. When Khasim Abdulla started arguing with the courier office staff, a few police officials in mufti (plain clothes) walked in to find out what the fracas was about. During the quarrel, one of the police officials smelled a strange odour coming from the parcel. When they opened the parcel, they found green powdery stuff, which smelled like weed. When the police started questioning them, the students panicked and attempted to run away. Once of the students, Khasim Abdulla was caught by the police.’’ Abdulla has confessed to the police that the substance was ‘khat’ which they were supplying to a friend in Mumbai. Police officials said the parcel weighed seven kilos and was approximately valued at Rs 15 lakh in the international market.
‘Khat’ is rare in the state
Lashkar police officials say this is the first `khat’ case and it’s very rare to find khat in Karnataka. Police officials wonder how the international students came to possess this much quantity of khat as it’s not available in the state.
Khat is an expensive drug, valued at Rs 2.5 lakh for one kg in the international market. Khat consists of chemicals like Cathinone and Methcathinone which are known to be stimulants. It’s been illegally used in preparing medicines in some countries. However khat is legal in some African countries. World Health Organisation (WHO) has however issued a warning to countries like Kenya, Uganda, Yemen and Somalia not to use khat in preparing medicines.
Vivekananda, an Inspector at the Lashkar Police Station, said, “Yes, we have arrested a foreign student from Yemen while trying to courier ‘khat’ to Mumbai. We are looking for the absconding friend. It’s the first case in the state that we have detected. Khat is an expensive drug and the main source of drug trafficking is Mumbai. The accused is in judicial custody. We have arrested him under the Narcotic Drugs and Psycho-tropic Substances Act (NDPS).’’