Smugglers held for trading DPRK drugs

According to the Choson Ilbo:

Police have arrested a Chinese-South Korean gang on charges of trafficking 5.95 kg of North Korean-made methamphetamines into the South. The Seoul District Prosecutor’s Office said Sunday among the 13 people arrested is a 56-year-old man in Busan identified only as Kim who is linked to organized crime in the southern port city, and a 35-year-old Korean Chinese identified as Chung from Shenyang, Liaoning Province, also a suspected mafioso.

Kim allegedly received the drugs from Chung and smuggled them into Busan port on ships disguised as fishing trawlers, prosecutors said. Another member of the gang in Busan, who committed suicide last year, sold the drugs on to about a dozen different gangs throughout South Korea.

The arrested Chinese gangsters said they believed the methamphetamines were made in North Korea, prosecutors said. The 5.95 kg that were seized have a street value of W19.8 billion (US$1=W1,117).

It is widely known in the international community that North Korea is the source of various narcotics that are trafficked around the world.

South Korean police believe North Korean-made drugs are trafficked along two routes. The first is through the three Chinese provinces that border North Korea — Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang — where Chinese triads are involved in trafficking, for sale in China, South Korea and Japan. In August last year, one South Korean and two Japanese were arrested by Chinese police on charges of buying and selling 60 kg of North Korean methamphetamines in their hotel room in Shenyang. In July last year, three South Koreans were caught in Longjing smuggling 4.5 kg of North Korean methamphetamines. In 2009, 35 people were arrested in the three Chinese provinces on charges of drug trafficking, and most of them were apparently North Korean-made.

The other route is by ship directly to Australia, the Philippines or Japan. Some of these shipments involve hundreds of kilograms and lead to sharp decreases in the street price of meth. North Korean methamphetamine is known for its purity and apparently fetches high prices on the streets.

There have not been many DPRK drugs stories in the media for the last couple of years.  I wonder if production is down, arrests are down, demand is down, or the story is just too mundane to report. Anyone have any ideas?

In all fairness, the meth is only suspected of coming from the DPRK due to assumptions made by incarcerated Chinese gangsters. Maybe more helpful information will come out during the court proceedings.

Joshua wrote something about this nearly a year ago.

Read the full story here:
Mobsters Held in Smuggling of N.Korean Drugs
Choson Ilbo


One Response to “Smugglers held for trading DPRK drugs”

  1. Sheejun says:

    Hi, here’s an excellent documentary on meth I watched a few days ago that may address your curiousity. It’s not if production is down then arrests are down, it is if level of purity of drug is down, then number of addicts, and hence crime/arrests, are down. (Well at least in America). Hope you enjoy.