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Drugs seized in S. Korea jump 23 pct in 2023

SEOUL, The amount of drugs seized before being smuggled into South Korea jumped 23 percent on-year in 2023, the customs agency said Wednesday.

A total of 769 kilograms of drugs had been seized at borders last year, up from 624 kg from the previous y…

SEOUL, The amount of drugs seized before being smuggled into South Korea jumped 23 percent on-year in 2023, the customs agency said Wednesday. A total of 769 kilograms of drugs had been seized at borders last year, up from 624 kg from the previous year, according to the Korea Customs Service (KCS). The number of smuggling attempts fell 9 percent to 704 cases, but the average volume involved in each case had risen sharply from 446 g in 2021 to 1,092 g last year. South Korea has tightened its border control in line with rising demand for narcotics here and the subsequent rising prices. Of the total, 43 percent was carried out through international mail, followed by express cargo accounting for 36 percent and air travelers with 19 percent. The drug smuggling attempts through travelers, in particular, have surged in 2023 in line with the growing international travel after the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of drugs to be brought in via travelers more than quadrupled to 148.1 g in 2023 from the previous year 's 36.2 g, and the number of such cases climbed 58 percent on-year to 177 such cases. By type, methamphetamine accounted for 57 percent of all the drugs seized, followed by hemp at 19 percent and ketamine at 5 percent. By origin, Thailand topped the list by accounting for 24 percent of the total volume, or 187 kg, followed by the United States with 20 percent, Germany with 12 percent and Laos with 9 percent, the data showed. Source: Yonhap News Agency