Foreign Ministry: Smuggling khat can result in long prison terms

14 Israelis were arrested for smuggling khat in the last few days. One Israeli is currently serving a 10-yr. prison term in Turkey.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Woman under arrest (illustrative)
Woman under arrest (illustrative)

The Foreign Ministry implored Israeli citizens on Thursday to refrain from smuggling khat to European countries, warning of the possible harsh consequences.

The ministry noted that in the last few days another 14 Israelis were arrested on charges of attempted smuggling of dozens of kilograms of khat to European countries. Seven Israelis were arrested in France, three in Sweden, two in Spain and two in Ireland.

"Unfortunately, this phenomenon continues to grow and strike naive citizens, some of whom are from disadvantaged populations," the Foreign Ministry stated. "These citizens are tempted by Israeli operators to distribute khat and find themselves sentenced to long periods of imprisonment." (It is known that an Israeli citizen was sentenced to 10 years for smuggling khat in Turkey and is now serving his sentence.)

"The Department of Israelis Abroad in the Consular Division of the Foreign Ministry warns against smuggling khat outside the borders of Israel, as this is a serious offense in European countries that could result in years of imprisonment in a foreign country," the ministry added.