Khat leaves (inset). Photo: Google Maps, Facebook, HK Police

Roughly one tonne of khat leaves, with an estimated value of HK$6.5 million (US$833,488), has been seized by police in Hong Kong this year.

One tip-off in May and another this month, from logistic companies, led police to three suspicious consignments from East Africa, labeled as clothes and tea leaves, am730 reports.

Police and customs later raided mini-storage facilities in Cheung Sha Wan and To Kwa Wan in Kowloon, and in Sai Wan and Central on Hong Kong Island. They confiscated altogether about one tonne of khat leaves, also known as ‘Arabian Tea.’

Ng Wing-sze, acting senior superintendent of the city’s narcotics bureau said during a press briefing on Wednesday that she believed the drugs to have been smuggled from Ethiopia to Hong Kong but that the intended final destinations were likely to be in the US, Canada and Norway. HK01.com reports that no local people are involved in the cases. Smugglers choose different routes to avoid detection.

Khat is a kind of dangerous drug that can cause euphoria, hyperactivity, delusions and loss of appetite when consumed.

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