A criminal who smuggled the record amount of methamphetamine worth 1.3 trillion won from Mexico has been arrested by the prosecution in South Korea. The seized drugs can be administered to 13.5 million people at the same time.
The Busan District Prosecutors Office said on Wednesday that it has arrested and indicted a 35-year-old man on charges of smuggling over 404.23 kilograms of methamphetamine from Mexico. The volume of the seized methamphetamine is the largest amount in the nation's history of drug smuggling. The previous record was 112 kilograms seized in 2018.
The man is accused of smuggling a total of 904 kilograms of the banned substance hidden in 20 helical gears from Mexico in December 2019 and in July last year. Among them, 500 kilograms shipped to Australia were caught by the Australian Federal Police in May, exposing his crime. Helical gears are a type of cylindrical gears where the teeth are curved into a helix shape and are mainly used in the speed reducers of airplanes and ships.
He reportedly changed the storage location of drugs multiple times in South Korea as their export to Australia became difficult. The seized drugs are what’s left after export to Australia. The seize is meaningful as it prevented domestic distribution.
The prosecution is tracking an Australian accomplice who stayed overseas and instructed the South Korean. It is believed that international drug smugglers used South Korea as a stopover to ship drugs to Australia as they are less likely to be busted to go through third countries, including South Korea, rather than directly smuggling methamphetamine from Mexico to Australia.
“From the early stage of an investigation, we will work with Busan Main Customs and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to arrest the accomplice,” said a member of the Busan District Prosecutors Office. “We will work closely with relevant organizations to cut off ever-changing drug smuggling crimes.”