SEJONG, Feb. 18 (Korea Bizwire) – Drug smuggling into South Korea surged to a 14-year high in 2015 on expanded syndicates and diversified trafficking routes, customs data showed Thursday.
A total of 325 shipments of banned substances were caught last year valued at 214 billion won (US$174.8 million), up 42 percent from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by the Korea Customs Service (KCS).
The total weight of the confiscated drugs also jumped 28 percent on-year to 91.6 kilograms.
The figures of both value and weight marked the highest since 2001, when the authorities unearthed more than 151 kilograms of drugs worth 426 billion won.
The KCS detected 71 kilograms of methamphetamine, also called philopon in South Korea, last year, up 42 percent from a year earlier, with its value reaching 213 billion won.
The customs office said the sharp jump is partly caused by massive smuggling attempts by international drug rings, with private trafficking of individuals bringing in the drugs through international mail, on the rise.’