Marijuana smuggling has hit record levels this year, with the number of cases caught by police reaching 246 by the end of August, according to customs authorities.
The combined amount of the smuggled marijuana detected so far totals 55 kilograms, which is estimated to be worth roughly 1.7 billion won ($1.45 million).
This marks a 31 percent rise in the incidence of marijuana smuggling compared to 188 cases reported during the same time last year, data from the customs service showed.
The total amount of the drug confiscated from smugglers has already exceeded last year’s total, which was 36.1 kilograms, by a significant margin.
Over the last five years, cases of marijuana smuggling have risen steadily from 94 in 2016 to 284 in 2019.
Ruling Democratic Party of Korea lawmaker Rep. Yang Hyang-ja said in a press release, “Drugs have infiltrated our communities. The information on how to acquire them is readily accessible online.”
“We need beefed-up measures from our customs office to combat drug trafficking more effectively,” she said.
Drug smuggling can result in jail time of over five years or even a life term, according to the narcotics laws here.
By Kim Arin (email@example.com