FRANCE (VINnews) — Four young Israeli citizens were arrested in France, after customs officers discovered 130 kilograms of khat (known as ghat in Israel) in their suitcases. All four are members of the Charedi community.Join our WhatsApp group
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The group included two 17 year old girls, one of whom was apparently begging her mother to come and rescue her.
The plant, which has a mild narcotic effect, is permitted in Israel, but in most countries it is prohibited as a drug.
On February 2, four Israelis were detained at Brussels airport after 160 kilograms of khat were found in their luggage.
Last month, two brothers, Israeli yeshiva students, traveled from Israel to France with khat leaves, persuaded by purveyors who assured them that there was no legal problem with the consignment. However French authorities arrested them and placed them in jail.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry frequently publishes warnings to Israeli youth not to be enticed by Israeli distributors of khat.
Many smugglers attempt to use yeshiva students to smuggle khat into other countries, claiming that they will not be arrested if they have citizenship in those countries. They claim that even if the student is caught, he will be returned to his country but will not receive any further sanction. The smugglers promise large sums of money as well as tickets to the yeshiva students, who do not realize the severity of their actions.