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Germany arrests alleged smuggler of stimulant qat
Friday, January 18, 2013
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BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say they've arrested a Somali man accused of organizing the transport across Europe of more than 7 tons of qat, a mildly addictive herbal stimulant that's popular in Somalia and Yemen but banned in many European nations.
State investigators said the unidentified 29 year old, who lived in the central town of Schwalmstadt, was arrested Thursday. They say he regularly organized shipments of qat from the Netherlands via Germany to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
The suspect is accused of recruiting mainly German couriers and having them transport the qat in rental cars. Authorities seized three of those shipments.
Investigators say the total value of the narcotics the suspect is accused of transporting was several hundred thousand euros, or dollars. Users chew the fresh leaves of qat plants.
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