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English teachers nabbed for selling, using pot

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Published : 2012-07-03 20:35
Updated : 2012-07-03 20:35

Police said Tuesday they have arrested an American native English teacher for allegedly distributing marijuana to a circle of foreigners here, mostly English teachers.

The international crime probe unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency said they also booked eight foreigners for buying marijuana, including an American female college lecturer aged 28, as well as two South Koreans who shuttled the drug between the supplier and buyers.

The arrested 31-year-old male, identified only as J, sold 90 grams of smuggled marijuana to the booked foreigners, including native English teachers at kindergarten, elementary and language institutions, as well as the college lecturer, from December last year to recently, the police agency said.

A 26-year-old local woman, surnamed Baek and among those booked, helped J distribute the strictly prohibited drug in Seoul and nearby areas, according to the police.

J, while working as an English teacher in Yongin, south of Seoul, charged 100,000 won (US$87.9) to 150,000 won per gram of marijuana he sold to other foreigners he mostly got to know at social gatherings.

The booked drug users easily evaded drug tests, often conducted on foreign teachers before employment, because the tests usually fail to detect drugs taken one or two weeks before.

The group habitually gathered to smoke cannabis at several places in Seoul, including club areas near Hongik University in northern Seoul. Some also took a new type of mind-altering pill, known as “2C,” the police said.

The police are attempting to track the source of that drug in order to arrest whoever smuggled it to South Korea.

Under South Korean law, marijuana users can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail or fined up to 50 million won. (Yonhap News)