5 Brooklyn residents among 17 arrested for alleged role in trafficking of khat
Related mediaVIDEO: Press conference on major khat takedown
BROOKLYN - Five Brooklyn residents are among 17 people arrested as part of an alleged large-scale international drug bust.
The group is accused of trafficking a drug known as khat from Yemen, Kenya and Ethiopia to parts of New York, Massachusetts and Ohio.
Surveillance conducted in Brooklyn as part of the investigation caught two Brooklyn residents bringing in multiple boxes of khat into the Islamic Society of Flatbush, on Nostrand Avenue.
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Investigators say the drug traffickers would hold it there until they were ready to sell and distribute the drugs.
They say those arrested face many charges including drug trafficking and possession, money laundering and conspiracy.
Khat is a leaf that users chew to get a mild high. Although classified as a dangerous narcotic in the U.S., it is fairly popular in Africa and the Middle East.