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Heavy bag yielded drug arrest at Dulles

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A woman arriving at an airport with a heavy suitcase might have seemed typical on Christmas Eve, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said they didn’t see it that way.

CBP officers’ suspicions were aroused by the weight of a woman’s bag at Dulles International Airport about 3 p.m. Dec. 24, the agency said in a statement.

Citing court papers, an agency spokesman said the suitcase “remained unusually heavy” after being emptied of its contents. An inspection of the lining turned up 11 pounds of what might be heroin, the agency said.

CBP said Nana Tweneboah, 68, who was arriving from Ghana via Amsterdam, is facing federal charges of narcotics smuggling. A CBP official warned that agency officers “don’t take a holiday.”

In another Dulles incident, CBP said, it seized nearly 214 pounds of khat Dec. 21 that arrived in air freight being shipped from Kenya to the District. Kkhat is grown in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and CBP described it as an illegal substance that is chewed as a stimulant.

CBP said the khat was destroyed. But the agency said that the plant loses potency relatively soon after harvest and that prosecution was declined.

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