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Cyber Crimes Increased 14 Times Last Year

Posted July. 12, 2002 22:43,   


Violent crimes such as murders as well as cyber crimes that stem from the growing popularity of the Internet have been on the rise recently. The surge in crimes is to some extent attributed to the increasing number of illegal foreign residents in the country.

According to the 2002 Police White Paper published by the National Police Agency on July 12 shows that a total of 1,186,687 crimes were committed last year, an 8.4 percent increase from 1,739,558 crimes committed in 2000. Of them, the number of the five most violent crimes murders, robbers, rapes, thefts and assaults has been rising each year from 383,976 in 1999, 520,763 in 2000 and 532,243 in 2001.

The National Police Agency attributes such growing tendency mainly to the influence of the mass media and indiscriminate use of credit cards by teenagers and young people in their 20`s.

The number of female and juvenile criminals accounted for 22.1 percent of all criminals last year reaching 442,777 people. The number of female criminals reached 311,718 people last year, up 7.1 percent from 290,931 people in 2000.

The number of cyber crimes grew 13.6 times reaching 33,289 crimes compared to 2,444 crimes committed last year.

Internet fraud crimes topped the list amounting to 14,172 cases (42.6%), followed by 10,638 cases (32%) of cyber terror crimes, such as hacking and virus dissemination, and 8,479 cases (25.4%) of privacy intrusion, cyber defamation and operation of pornography and gambling sites.

40 percent of all cyber criminals were Internet-savvy students, followed by 28 percent of unemployed people and 15 percent of white-collar workers. The largest number, or 44 percent, of cyber criminals were teenagers.

Of 2,607 foreign criminals, 762 were arrested. The increase in crimes committed by foreign residents was up 17.6 percent compared to 2000, with rapes and murders accounting for 87.5 percent and 60 percent respectively. The number of illegal foreign residents grew 35 percent, reaching 2,550,206 people last year as compared to 1,880,995 people in 2000. Chinese residents accounted for 51.1 percent of the total number of illegal residents.

Hoon Lee dreamland@donga.com