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Channel Tunnel police officers at Folkestone terminal seize class C drug khat in 'UK first'

By Matt Leclere

Officers in Folkestone have seized a haul of illegal drugs in what is believed to be the first of its kind in the UK.

Police based at the Channel Tunnel terminal arrested a 20-year-old man early on Tuesday morning during a routine check.

They are said to have discovered around 500kg of khat - now a class C drug.

Khat was recently classified as a class C drug
Khat was recently classified as a class C drug

The man was stopped at the control post for tourists as he tried to board a train to France at 7.40am.

He is alleged to have been found to be in possession of around 500kg of khat - also known as catha edulis - in his Volkswagen.

The drugs, with an estimated street value of £15,000, have now been sent away for analysis.

It is believed the haul is the first of its kind because khat officially became class C at midnight on June 24.

The Home Office said khat "contains natural ingredients which are already controlled drugs both in the UK and internationally because they are harmful".

As a class C drug, it is now illegal to supply, possess with intent to supply and import khat. Sentences include up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.

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