A judicial report on Thursday revealed that the yearly record of drug offenders in South Korea have significantly increased in 2020, reaching the highest-ever number since 1990 when official data compilation started.
The shoot up was attributed partly to the rise in juvenile and foreign drug criminals.
There had been a total of 18, 050 people arrested last year for crimes related to drugs, a 2020 judicial logbook published by the Supreme Prosecutors Office (SPO) show. The data reflected a 12.5 percent increase as compared to the previous year.
Some 4, 793 of the arrested persons were traffickers and manufacturers, posing a 13.4 percent increase on-year.
The rampant drug negotiations on international virtual platforms like the social network services and the dark web are the main contributing factors to the increase, the report said, saying it serves as a venue for drug providers and consumers to keep in touch with each other.
The platform facilitating these contacts have specifically contributed to the increase of drug crimes recorded among 19-year-olds and below. Within this age, an increase of 31 percent was recorded, hitting 313.
“More teenagers are buying illegal drugs out of curiosity as they are easily exposed to advertisements on narcotics on internet portals and social media,” said the SPO.
The report furthered that there has been a stable increase on drug offenses among the foreign populations in the country. It goes according to the steady rise in the foreign population’s steady increase.
The increase in drug offenders among this population has seen a 28.1 percent increase last year, recording 1, 958 as compared to 1, 529 recorded in 2019.
Topping the foreigners with the most number of total crimes are the Thai nationals, contributing 45.2 percent. It is followed by the Chinese at 20.7 percent and the Vietnamese recording 7.4 percent.