SEJONG, Oct. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — The amount of narcotics caught being smuggled into the country by travelers in the first half of this year was already three times more than the total detected for the whole of last year, data analysis by an opposition lawmaker showed Thursday.
According to the report provided by the office of Rep. Park Myung-jae of the Liberty Korea Party and based on statistics from the Korea Customs Service, some 47,370 grams of narcotics were nabbed from travelers in 26 cases during the January-June months.
The amount has a street value equivalent to 139.3 billion won (US$124.37 million). In 2017, the total amount of illegal drugs caught reached 15,360 grams.
Most of the smuggling attempts were by air travelers, totaling 46,896 grams, the data indicated.
The customs office reported 385 cases of drug smuggling during the year, totaling 146,939 grams worth 203.3 billion won. Smuggling by travelers account for approximately 32 percent of the total.
The numbers up till June are also an increase from 69,133 grams worth 88 billion won for the same period last year.
Cocaine showed the biggest increase in the types of smuggled narcotics, up from 136 grams for the whole of last year to 8,179 grams in the first half of this year.
Philopon, also known as methamphetamine, was the most smuggled.