SEOUL, Mar. 20 (Korea Bizwire) — Chinese nationals accounted for over 40 percent of foreign drug offenders arrested in South Korea last year, police data showed Wednesday.
The Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) said a total of 1,174 Chinese nationals were arrested in South Korea for drug offenses from 2014 to 2018 — 130 in 2014, 187 in 2015, 362 in 2016, 247 in 2017 and 248 in 2018.
The portion of Chinese out of all foreign drug offenders arrested here averaged 43.7 percent annually — 37.2 percent in 2014, 45.8 percent in 2015, 50.9 percent in 2016, 39.6 percent in 2017 and 41.6 percent last year, the KNPA data found.
“Chinese nationals represent the largest share among foreign drug offenders here. That’s probably because of the large number of Chinese migrant workers staying in the country, including ethnic Koreans with Chinese citizenship,” a KNPA official said.
According to Ministry of Justice figures, 1.01 million Chinese nationals, including 670,000 ethnic Koreans, were staying in South Korea as of October 2017.
Most recently, a female Chinese employee of Seoul’s Burning Sun nightclub, which is at the center of an escalating sex and drug scandal involving celebrities, was found to have used drugs with her clients.
Police officials said some Chinese offenders were caught smuggling drugs into South Korea while traveling with tourist groups.