Man gets 18 months in jail for khat smuggling
A 52-year-old man caught smuggling the stimulant chewing leaf khat from the UK to Norway, has been sentenced to a one and a half years in prison, after the judge ruled that he had used his 13 and 14 year old daughters as couriers.
The man, who is from the Netherlands, was arrested at Olso Airport in June, carrying 42 kilograms of the stimulant plant, which is popular in the Somali and Yemeni communities.
With khat chewers getting through between up to two 100g bundles in a typical session, the delivery would supply about 300 to 400 of the drug's devotees for a single night.
The Øvre Romerike court argued for a punitive sentence, arguing that he had used his two teenage daughters as forced labour.
The man's lawyer, Arve Ringsbye, argued that this would apply to anyone who had children in their car as they drove into Norway carrying more alcohol and cigarettes than allowed under quotas.
The 52-year-old was sentenced for khat smuggling in 2004, and made a similar trip in May. He said he received £600, or 5,700 kroner for each trip.
Khat will soon become illegal in the UK when a controversial ban announced in July comes into force. The drug is already banned in Norway, France, Germany, and many other European countries.