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155 busted for illegal drug trade on ‘dark web’

A total of 155 people have been arrested on charges of illegal drugs trade on the “dark web” since last year, raising alarm about hidden websites increasingly becoming a place for cybercrimes.

According to government data released Wednesday by Rep. Song Hee-kgyoung of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party, 75 had been busted over trading illegal drugs on websites as of September this year. Last year, 80 were arrested on similar charges. 

Drugs illegally traded on 'dark web' (Rep. Song Hee-kgyoung)
Drugs illegally traded on 'dark web' (Rep. Song Hee-kgyoung)

The dark web refers to a collection of websites that exist on an encrypted network and which cannot be found using traditional search engines.

The National Police Agency reported in February that as of that month, they had found over 50,000 posts on trading illegal materials on the dark web in Korean.

Rep. Song urged the government to come up with fundamental solutions early, saying it is a worldwide problem.

“The dark web is a hot bed of all kinds of cybercrimes, but South Korea is practically defenseless against these crimes that are on the increase,” she said in a press release.

“After last year’s government inspection, there have been attempts to deal with such illegal selling and buying of drugs on the hidden web, and we have closed down a couple of the sites. However, the efforts ended there and the problem is worsening now.”

By Jo He-rim (