Agaadir Saleebaan, 44, of Leicester, was caught by officers at Edinburgh Airport after flying into the UK from Addis Ababa.
He was stopped by Border officials, who discovered he was carrying £9,900 worth of the drug “Cat” which has been illegal in the UK since 1940.
Fiscal depute Kim Schofield said the officers checking two black suitcases Saleebaan had and they found a number of white tissue packages. When he was asked what it was, he replied “Cat”.
Ms Schofield said the drug, Catha Edulis, was a vegetable drug and users chewed the leaves and it is not illegal in Ethiopia.
Defence solicitor advocate Leanne McQuillan said her client had been living in England for 15 years, had a wife and six children and no previous convictions. He is unemployed having broken his legs after falling off a roof.
The court heard he had been in Ethiopia for about four weeks visiting relatives and did not know the drug was illegal in the UK.