Miraa merchants in Qatar face execution
State official says khat is a health hazard
The Qatari government has issued stiffer penalties for miraa traders, including death.
Director general of Narcotics Control in Qatar Col Abdu Rahim Qassim Al Farsi said miraa smugglers may face life sentences or the death penalty if caught by the Royal Oman Police.
The punishments are spelled out in the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances law.
In June 2014, miraa exports to the United Kingdom were banned by then Home Secretary Theresa May. It is reported the stimulant is still smuggled into the country.
In October last year, Nassin Badhi was sentenced to 18 months in prison after she pleaded guilty to smuggling 81kg of miraa worth Sh3.12 million through Heathrow Airport from Johannesburg. KHAT USE ILLEGAL Apart from Yemen, all other Arab Gulf states have banned the use of miraa.
A senior official of the ROP said there has been an increase in miraa smuggling into Qatar hence, the latest warning. The ROP said 27 cases were reported in which 58 people were involved and 10,240 bundles of khat seized between January and October.
During the same period 18 smuggling attempts were foiled and 2,560kg seized.
Al Farsi said chewing miraa is a health hazard and is no less dangerous than any other drug that affects mental and physical health. “Anyone found chewing miraa will be fined. These types of drugs give the illusion that the user is more active and it is nothing more than a synthetic feeling.”
KHAT USE IN THE ARAB GULF STATES, APART FROM YEMEN, IS ILLEGAL