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Guide to Customs Administration

Drug Crimes

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The role of the KCS in drug crackdowns

As a customs border regulatory agency controlling the inflow and outflow of goods harmful to the country and society, the Korea Customs Service may monitor the international movement of people, cargoes, postal items and means of transportation and search any crime-prone travelers or cargo in accordance with relevant laws such as the Customs Act in its exclusive activity areas called airports, seaports and bonded areas.

In order to effectively block the transit smuggling trade of narcotic drugs being smuggled into Korea from abroad or into the final destination via Korea, the Korea Customs Service is carrying out its crackdown activities, including sorting out and precisely searching highly crime-prone travelers or cargo through risk analysis, a crime-proneness discernment technique and a movement observation technique with respect to the travelers, postal items, express cargoes, and general cargoes passing through the border.

Korea Customs Service’s authority to crack down on drug crimes

The Korea Customs Service secured the authority to investigate “narcotic and psychotropic drug offenses and cannabis offenses committed at the airports, ports and bonded areas where aircraft or vessels traveling between Korea and foreign countries arrive and depart” in accordance with subparagraph 14 of Article 6 of the Act on the Persons Performing the Duties of Judicial Police Officers and the Scope of Their Duties on August 1, 1990.

Statistics of crackdowns on narcotics

(Unit: crime, kg)

Statistics of crackdowns on narcotics
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number of crimes Weight Number of crimes Weight Number of crimes Weight Number of crimes Weight Number of crimes Weight
232 34kg 254 46kg 308 72kg 325 92kg 382 59kg

Main crackdown case

  • 4.1kg of methamphetamine smuggled into the International Postal Logistics Center at Incheon International Airport was uncovered through X-ray inspection from October to November 2016.

    - it was hidden in bamboo-shaped pottery, speakers and Wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets).
    Methamphetamine hiddenMethamphetamine hidden
  • 11.0kg of cocaine smuggled in through a traveler from Bogota, Columbia was uncovered through X-ray inspection during September to October 2016.

    - it was hidden under the guise of finished products in the form of fax paper rolls.
    Cocaine hiddenCocaine hidden
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