Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Korea Customs Service report on drug smuggling in 2011

I hadn't realized the Korea Customs Service had released its 2011 drug smuggling stats until I read this editorial; the report can be found here (.hwp file).

Here are two translated graphs provided in the report:

According to the report, in 2011 there were 174 seizures totaling 29.3 kg and worth 62 billion won. By weight or cases, it’s a 110% increase over 2010, while the monetary value is a 220% increase over 2010.

Smuggling from China and Africa generally involved international crime organizations smuggling methamphetamine, while seizures from the US and Canada usually involved marijuana or synthetic marijuana for personal use smuggled by people like US soldiers or foreign English teachers.

It listed three smuggling trends for 2011.

First, meth saw a 185% increase from 6.4 kg to 18.3 kg. African criminal organizations were responsible for 4 cases involving 7.7 kg, up from one case involving 2 kg in 2010. 2011 saw 3 kg and 1 kg of meth come from Canada and Taiwan, respectively. There were also much larger shipments in 2011. In 2010 there were 2 seizures larger than 1 kg totaling 3 kg – in 2011, there were 9 such seizures totaling 16.1 kg.

A second trend was Korea being used as a relay station for smuggling drugs. There were 5 cases of this in 2011 totaling 9.9 kg, a 230% increase over 2010, which saw 2 cases totaling 3 kg.

The third trend is the continuing increase in the smuggling of new kinds of drugs like synthetic marijuana (41 cases, 3.1 kg) and Kratom (3 cases, 1.5kg), which increased by 406% and 78% respectively.

Also I should add that, much like recent reports of sentences for foreign teachers, US soldiers tried for drug offenses in July and November last year and January this year also received fines or suspended sentences.

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