SEJONG, Jan. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea’s customs agency said Wednesday that it has caught illegal imports in 89,336 cases in 2016, up 8 percent from a year earlier.
The Korea Customs Service said it seized imports of foods that contain harmful substances in 9,033 cases, up 315 percent from 2,867 cases in 2015.
Among the items seized by the agency include dietary supplements that could cause hallucination and stomachache, sexual performance drugs and supplements meant to enhance athletic performance.
Some of the items contain Yohimbine, an extract derived from a tree in Central Africa, which can trigger panic attacks, hypertension and other serious side effects, Stars and Stripes said in 2015. It cited a study published in the Journal of Drug Testing and Analysis.
Yang Eul-su, an official handing the issue at the Korea Customs Service, said dietary supplements, sexual performance drugs and supplements meant to enhance athletic performance will be discarded.
The agency also said it has collected 2.6 billion won (US$2.2 million) in fines from importers for falsely reporting prices of imported products to the authorities.
Meanwhile, the Korea Customs Service said it has seized luxury brand knockoffs, such as bags, clothes and shoes, from China and Hong Kong in 2,983 cases.
Copied brands include American lifestyle labels Tory Burch and Michael Kors, as well as Nike, according to the agency.
Yang did not say how his agency will handle the fake goods. He said South Korea removed labels from fake goods before donating them to Vietnam last year.