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Ethiopia - 2 refugees accused of importing drug

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12/21/07

  05:05:59 pm, by admin, 226 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Crime, Khat

Ethiopia - 2 refugees accused of importing drug

Patrick Bahati (Jay Dortzbach, KSL-TV)
Sherif Kedir Sirage

Ethiopia - 2 refugees accused of importing drug

Shipments from Ethiopia contain the plant, not food

Two Utah resident refugees have been charged with trying to import several hundred pounds of an exotic stimulant into the state from Ethiopia.

Patrick Bahati, 23; and Sherif Kadir Sirage, 42, both of Salt Lake City, were arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Thursday. According to federal charges filed in U.S. District Court, both men were caught importing several hundred pounds of a leafy plant called khat, which is considered a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law and banned not only in the United States but also in much of Europe, East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, khat is a flowering evergreen shrub native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Typically people chew fresh leaves, twigs and shoots like tobacco, keeping it in the cheek to release drug compounds.

Some have described the drug's effects as having a feeling of euphoria, but drug enforcement experts said it is highly addictive.

Dried leaves can be made into tea or a chewable paste, and it also can be smoked or sprinkled on food. Khat is referred to on the street as Abyssinian tea, African salad, oat, kat, chat or catha.


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20 comments

1 2 >>

Comment from: Mohamed Geragne [Visitor]
Mohamed Geragne

It’s going to be a big news in Utah. Ethiopians and Somalis are going to laugh at this news. Chat (Khat) is a recreational thing for us. Big Mac and Fries are by far dangerous than Khat. My father, my uncle and my older brother enjoy a nice fresh Khat from Dila for everday for the past 50 years. They are still kicking and functioning normally. I get high when faster with the Starbucks double short latte than Khat…

12/21/07 @ 18:27
Comment from: Nebil [Visitor]
Nebil

“Khat is referred to on the street as Abyssinian tea, African salad, oat, kat, chat or catha".
LOL

I am pro-chat, khat, cat whatever they call it. I am for it.

12/21/07 @ 18:27
Comment from: eda [Visitor]
eda

Have you read the comment from an Eritrean,named Kinfe on the newspaper website.This hate breathing bastard with his lousy English had tried to paint the bad picture of the whole Ethiopian community. FF you eritreans and you very welcome.

12/21/07 @ 19:16
Comment from: sebategna [Visitor]
sebategna

VEUCKRY SAD NEWS FROM SALT LAKE CITY ONE THING I CAN SAY THOSE TWO ARREST IN SALT LAKE CITY BAD LUCK

12/21/07 @ 21:35
Comment from: Shagray [Visitor]
Shagray

It is funny that some are trying to compare it with Starbucks coffee. This is ridiculous. Many of us had used this stuff at one point or another when we were in our country of origin. Its effect could be a bit mild but we cannot deny that it is a type of drug. The fact that it is not banned back home does not justify the act of smuggling it to the US where it is considered a drug and legally banned. If we decide to violate the law, we should not complain against law enforcement measures. We cannot bring the laws of our country with us and impose them on foreign lands. If we are not comfortable with the laws of the host country, we simply go back home, where this stuff is considered recreational and we do not risk any legal action. It is as simple as that. But I wonder why Ethiopians and Somalis at Utah laugh at this news? At whom are they laughing? Don’t they know where they are? I am sorry that our brothers have violated the law of the country but I am not sorry for their arrest. Let them face the consequences if they are found guilty by the court.

12/21/07 @ 23:19
Comment from: Yaleb [Visitor]
Yaleb

In a country that gave Philip Morris a house hold name all over the world it seems strange, if not, ‘double standard’ to deny those poor East African and Yemeni immigrants their precious time of gossiping around the stuff.

A few months back the British Government tried to make it illegal the import of Khat into the country; un-wellcomed step among the large Somali Diaspora of East London

From health point of view, I don’t think it is more hazardous than say smoking a packet of cigarette a day, drowning half a bottle of whisky every other day or even living with a mother-in-law from hell!

What is important, I presume, is the social & economic consequence of munching this semi-drug on a daily basis. For years the Somalis in Britain have been one of the most isolated communities with one of the highest unemployment figures.

Even if I don’t agree the lengthy prison term that threaten these two carriers, the substance must be strictly controlled if that benefit for our usually work shy friends.

12/22/07 @ 03:28
Comment from: Abyssinia [Visitor]
Abyssinia

A bullshit case cooked by overzealos and bored fat red neck popo.

12/22/07 @ 10:32
Comment from: xyz [Visitor]
xyz

Hey, nazreth. Please be judgmental.Do you really have to post their pictures? shame on you. believe me, If it is dried khat they are going to be free.If it is fresh cut within 48 hours, Those guys are doomed.

12/22/07 @ 10:39
Comment from: Bethy [Visitor]
Bethy

love chat what is wrong with it.

12/22/07 @ 11:52
Comment from: welara [Visitor]
welara

cigarette is more dangerous than cat
but who bring cat to north America
it is clear OLF that is how they run
this Mafia group.

12/22/07 @ 15:09
Comment from: Tezebet [Visitor]
Tezebet

I think the question for must of us should be did they know Chat is illegal in this country? If they know; why these guys brought the Chat while the law of the country forbid? If they don’t know I really feel sorry for them and hope they will find a good lawyer … at least they can get a short term prison or some kind of community service…Though luck if they violate the law of the country purposely. They have to pay the price and it is going to be good lesson for the rest of the people who try to violate the law of the land. It is not about been redneck or some kind of conspiracy, it is the low. My brothers please don’t put you in the situation that doesn’t worth. If you want to live in this country follow the law and make yourself familiar to the local law. I remember before the Somalia war (before 1992 if I am not mistaken) most Ethiopian and Eritrean brings Chat into the country without any problem but not now Chat is illegal…

However I like some of the people argument and comment here….

Mohamed Geragne,
“Big Mac and Fries are by far dangerous than Khat.”

Shagray
We cannot bring the laws of our country with us and impose them on foreign lands. If we are not comfortable with the laws of the host country, we simply go back home,

12/22/07 @ 17:29
Comment from: aster [Visitor]
aster

shame.5 years behind bars

12/22/07 @ 19:43
Comment from: zitamarubulga [Visitor]
zitamarubulga

we not in ethiopia or somalia or kenya’ we in the usa which we have live by the law. i think they need a litle jail time.

12/22/07 @ 20:47
Comment from: saron [Visitor]
saron

:roll:

12/22/07 @ 23:24
Comment from: sholaye [Visitor]
sholaye

Altegib bay sitefa yadiral goes the saying. Pity that years of behind bar will be followed by deportation.But for chat no question it is a drug and have serious health consequences. Nonetheless both Meles Zenawi and Berket Simon are doing it everyday even yejebenna!

12/23/07 @ 00:35

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