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Housewives Trapped in International Drug Organization

Posted July. 22, 2005 06:11,   


A drug trafficking organization comprised of Korean people has been caught for the first time. The organization trafficked drugs in connection with an international drug trafficking organization.

The drug trafficking organization investigation department (director, Jo Young-gon) of Seoul’s district public prosecutors office said on July 21 that it cracked down on drug related offenses from January to May with the National Intelligence Service and the Korea Customs Service and arrested 76 criminals out of 137. 65 kilograms of drugs including philopon were confiscated.

Five Koreans, including a Mr. Jo (38), stayed in Suriname and worked with the “Cali cartel,” an international drug trafficking organization. They sold about 100 kilograms of cocaine to Europe and other regions by using some 10 Koreans, including a housewife, Ms. Jang (35) as carriers of drugs. According to the prosecution, 100 kilograms of cocaine is the amount that one million people can take simultaneously and is worth about 100 billion won wholesale.

They, including Jo, set up an office in Korea and put out an Internet advertisement which claimed they carried jewels. The advertisement attracted housewives who wanted to earn living expenses. They used housewives as drug carriers by saying that “a person who carries jewels will be paid four to five million won.”

Among the carriers recruited this way, five people, including a certain Gwak (45), who carried 50 kilograms of cocaine from Guyana in South America to France last July were not caught.

Housewives such as Ms. Jang and Ms. Park (36) were caught carrying 37 kilograms of cocaine from South America to Europe in October last year at Orly airport in France. In March, a certain Lee (40) was arrested at Lima airport in Peru, when he attempted carry 11.5 kilograms of cocaine from Peru via Spain to the Netherlands.

The director, Jo Young-gon said “This is the first case of Koreans working in connection with Cali cartel, the world’s biggest drug trafficking organization, and Koreans being caught as carriers.”

The drug criminals caught include an Iranian, “M” (28) and his girlfriend, Yeo (40), who were caught on charges of trafficking opium produced in the “Golden Crescent,” the drug producing area near the border between Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

A total of 16 people who had ordered drugs such as philopon after seeing drug selling advertisements on famous local portal sites or foreign sites and trafficked the drugs disguised as international express mail were caught. Among them, 10 were arrested.

Among those who were arrested were English teachers from the U.S. and Canada, and a Korean music director.

Jin-Young Hwang buddy@donga.com