Two men have been arrested for allegedly smuggling and attempting to sell more than one kilogram of methamphetamine, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The two, identified only by their surnames Jang and Park, were indicted and detained pending trial on charges of violating drug laws, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office said.
Both had permanent residency in the United States before they were convicted and deported from the country for their involvement in narcotics violations and other crimes, the office added.
Prosecutors suspect Jang, aged 44, smuggled 1.491 kilograms of meth for sale here last December and also used the drug himself.
The quantity, with an estimated street value of 5 billion won ($4.68 million), was enough to supply some 50,000 people, according to prosecutors.
Jang acquired permanent residency in the United States along with his parents during childhood. In July 2009, he was deported to South Korea after serving 12 years and seven months in Californian drug-related charges.
He then purchased meth in China from a member of a Chinese drug ring whom he met while being imprisoned in the U.S., according top prosecutors. He took a detour through Hong Kong where cargo checks are less strict than in other Chinese cities when returning to his home country, they added.
He was then apprehended by prosecutors while attempting to sell methamphetamine he had hidden at a Protestant church in Seoul.
Park, aged 43, is charged with smuggling 43.3 grams of meth from the Philippines in October, last year, according to prosecutors.
He was caught by tipped-off prosecutors at Incheon International Airport after they found bags of meth in his anus.
"We plan to recommend the Ministry of Justice to change its system, judging that it is necessary to manage in a more organized way those who were deported from foreign countries for committing crimes," the prosecution service said in a release. (Yonhap News)