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Lawyers indicted on drug charges

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Published : 2012-03-15 19:32
Updated : 2012-03-15 19:32

Prosecutors apprehended seven Korean-Americans, including two lawyers, on drug-related charges on Thursday.

According to Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, a corporate lawyer, a native-speaking English teacher, and two others were indicted on charges of marijuana possession with intent to sell.

The lawyer was found to have habitually smoked marijuana between January and August last year, and sold roughly 12 million won ($10,600) worth of the drug on 16 separate occasions, said prosecutors.

According to prosecutors, the teacher sold 5.3 million won worth of marijuana from December 2010 to February of this year, and was in possession of 55 grams of cocaine and 40 ecstasy pills.

The teacher worked in Gangwon Province from 2007 before moving to Seoul and teaching kindergarten students from 2009.

Prosecutors say that the teacher purchased the marijuana from a 24-year-old Korean-American currently in a gang in the U.S.

Prosecutors also believe the teacher may be a “professional” drug dealer considering that he was in possession of a digital scale and other drugs.

Prosecutors reported that another lawyer who worked with the first lawyer at a conglomerate here, smoked marijuana with Park on four occasions between June and November of last year.

The two lawyers were released from their jobs after being apprehended.

The second lawyer was booked without detention.

Prosecutors have also indicted a 23-year-old on leave of absence from a U.S. university, and a 33-year-old part-time actor, for selling marijuana on up to eight separate occasions.

Two Korean-American university students were also booked without detention for selling marijuana on two occasions.

According to data from the Korea Customs Service, 25 percent of smugglers caught in 2011 were from the United States. Marijuana accounted for 7 percent of all drugs confiscated the same year.

In 2011, the National Police Agency apprehended 243 foreigners on drug-related charges, down from 858 in 2010. Figures were not released for total drug-related arrests of foreigners and Koreans for last year, but the figure was 9,732 in 2010.

By Robert Lee (robert@heraldcorp.com)