More than 24 billion won or $20 million worth of smuggled illegal drugs via the service of the United States Forces Korea (USFK) into South Korea were detected over the past four years, a government record reveals.
On Tuesday, the Korea Customs Service submitted data for the National Assembly session which states that customs authorities were able to recover illegal drugs weighing 11.2 kilograms. The contraband, which was shipped via the USFK military postal service, was recovered from 2017 to August 2021 period and its retail value is pegged at about 24.7 billion won.
The agency has spoiled a couple of drug smuggling attempts in 2017 with the recovered drugs’ volume at 8, 226 grams in total.
The following year, a notable decrease in the volume of seized drugs was recorded at only 201 grams. But the recoveries increased again in 2019 as 17 separate illegal transactions have led to the recovery of 368 grams of drugs.
Thirteen cases were recorded last year, which resulted in the confiscation of 618 illegal drugs in total.
This year, from January to August, confiscated illegal drugs have already reached 1, 778 grams.
X-ray scans are being conducted by the customs authorities to prevent the entry of illegal drugs. Every letter and package sent through the USFK military postal service and into the county goes through the process. Suspicious parcels are opened by the customs authorities with the USFK officials’ supervision, The Korea Times reported.
The agency said that even with the preventive measures in place, service members still attempt to bring illegal drugs into the country.