Drug smuggling more than doubled in the first half of the year amid pandemic

SEOUL, 15 July (Yonhap) – Drug trafficking captured by the South Korean customs agency more than doubled in the first half of the year as trafficking via contactless delivery means increased amid the pandemic , data showed this Thursday.

A total of 214.2 kilograms of drugs were confiscated between January and June, up 153% from the previous year, according to data from the Korean Customs Service.

Drug smuggling via international mail and freight has increased sharply amid the protracted pandemic, according to the customs office.

By type, the amount of confiscated methamphetamine increased by 77% in one year to reach 43.5 kg during the cited period.

The agency confiscated 4.85 kg of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, up 1,035% from the previous year. The detected LSD pills jumped 100% to 467 grams.

But the amount of confiscated hemp fell 4% year-on-year to 44.3 kg as the number of international air travelers fell due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The customs agency said international drug networks continued to smuggle more than 1kg of methamphetamine into South Korea, and drug trafficking from the western United States increased in the first half of the year.

Young people have also used international mail and freight to smuggle a small amount of narcotics through social media and the dark web, accessible only through specific software or permission.


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