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Chinese man sentenced to 3 1/2 yrs in prison for drug trafficking

A 25-year-old Chinese man caught earlier this year trying to smuggle drugs into South Korea and swallowing them has been sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison, a local court said Tuesday.

In handing down the verdict, the Incheon District Court found him guilty of trafficking drugs, but he was found innocent of drug use.

The man from the northeastern Chinese city of Qingdao, who had 20 grams of methamphetamine in his pocket and 0.12 gram of the drug in his bag, was arrested in the arrival lobby of Incheon Port International Passenger Terminal, west of Seoul, on July 25. He tried to run away and swallowed the 20 grams of the drug after customs officials asked him to show them his belongings.

After taking an amount enough for 400 people, the man lost consciousness and was taken to a hospital. He survived after having his stomach and intestines pumped.

In court, he said he swallowed the methamphetamine to commit suicide out of fear that he would be put behind bars again after being imprisoned for a long time in China.

The court accepted the man's claim, finding him not guilty of drug use because the charge requires drugs to be taken for one's pleasure. (Yonhap)