SEOUL, July 15 (Korea Bizwire) — Drug smuggling caught by South Korea’s customs agency more than doubled in the first half of the year as trafficking via non-contact delivery means rose amid the pandemic, data showed Thursday.
A total of 214.2 kilograms of drugs were confiscated in the January-June period, up 153 percent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.
Drug smuggling via international mail and cargo sharply increased amid the protracted pandemic, according to the customs office.
By type, the amount of methamphetamine confiscated soared 77 percent on-year to 43.5 kg in the cited period.
The agency confiscated 4.85 kg of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, up a whopping 1,035 percent from a year earlier. LSD pills detected jumped 100 percent to 467 grams.
But the amount of confiscated hemp declined 4 percent 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 rings continued to smuggle methamphetamine of more than 1 kg into South Korea, and the amount of drug trafficking from western parts of the United States rose in the first half.
Young people also used international mail and cargo to smuggle a small amount of narcotics through social media and the dark web, accessible only through specific software or authorization.