February 13, 2008
|One out of 10 people caught bringing illegal drugs into Korea last year taught English, double the number in 2006.
The Korea Customs Service said yesterday in a release that 22 of 225 people importing illegal drugs in 2007 were English teachers. Of the 22, eight were American, eight Canadian, four British, one Australian and one Korean.
In 2006, 11 English teachers were arrested for bringing illegal drugs into the country.
“Most of them tried to bring in marijuana via the mail,” said Yang Seung-hyeok, a drug investigator at the customs agency. The amount brought in was small, and most of the teachers were not subject to jail sentences. Most were deported after a short investigation and banned from re-entering the country.
According to Yang, the agency went to the addresses to which the mail containing drugs was directed and caught the intended recipients.
According to the agency, illegal drugs with a retail value of 52.8 billion won ($55.9 million) weighing 27.8 kilograms (61.3 pounds) were seized in 184 cases last year. Methamphetamine was the most often imported narcotic. The agency found 17 kilograms of the drug last year.By Limb Jae-un Staff Reporter [email@example.com]