Willesden man appears in court accused of smuggling Khat to the US

Hersi Farah is claimed to be in gang that allegedly mis-labelled parcels to dupe customs officials

A Willesden man accused of posting hundreds of parcels of the stimulant khat to the US appeared in court today (Friday).

Hersi Farah, of Torbay Mansions in Willesden Lane, is claimed to be part of a gang that mis-labelled parcels to dupe customs officials by saying they contained items such as barbecue sets, wedding dresses, and children’s clothes.

The 47-year-old appeared before at Southwark Crown Court alongside seven other people.

All were arrested during a series of police raids earlier this year.

Khat, a plant chewed primarily by East Africans, is legal in the UK but classed as a controlled substance in the US and Canada.

The profits were allegedly sent back to the UK- Warsame Nuur, 47, from Coventry, is alleged to have laundered at least �48,500.

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Husband and wife Osman Said, 42, and Hinda Dalmar, 38, from Notting Hill, also appeared charged with customs offences and proceeds of crime offences.

No pleas were entered by any of the defendants.

All nine had been due to stand trial on October 1, but that has been postponed.

A new date has yet to be set.

Farah, Nuur, Said, Dalmar, Daud Ali, from Cardiff, husband and wife Adrian Wall, 49, and Lelah Ali, 45, from Coventry, Sharif Ali, 45, from Coventry, and Liiban Nursharif, 30, of no fixed address, are all charged with a conspiracy contrary to Section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 for an offence contrary to Section 167(1)(a) of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

Nuur is also charged with fraud in connection with the use of a stolen credit card.

Ali is also accused of possessing a false Norwegian passport.

Taxi driver Daud Ali and Nuur are remanded in custody.

The remaining seven were remanded on bail ahead of their next court appearance.