Police arrested two male suspects in their 20s without detainment for allegedly inhaling large quantities of nitrous oxide in capsules on Wednesday.
Neighbors had initially called the police on Monday at around 12 a.m., after hearing “loud club music blasting from the second floor” of their multi-family residential building in Nonhyeong-dong.
The police officers, dispatched from Gangnam Police Station, arrived to the scene to discover the two men, surnamed Choi and Kim, sitting on the bed, facing two other men in their 30s, dressed in revealing women’s clothes.
The four men reportedly looked “embarrassed” as they glanced at the police officers. Police claimed to have found a gas injector for cold nitrous oxide along with 10 balloons sprayed across the room -- possible evidence pointing to the suspects making “happy balloons” and then inhaling the hallucinogenic substance.
Police also found 1,500 nitrous oxide capsules inside a paper box weighing 50 kilograms. Some 1,200 capsules reportedly have already been used or distributed by the suspects.
Upon interrogation, the suspects claimed to have “only kept the capsules after receiving them from an acquaintance prior to August when the government added them to the list of illegal, hallucinogenic substances.” Neighbors, however, claimed otherwise and said that the suspects were engaged in the “use of the gas injector to inflate starting at least two months ago” and saw “multiple capsules in their garbage disposal bags.”
Police will investigate the suspects to identify how they obtained the nitrous oxide in large quantities and any possible distribution channels.
By Catherine Chung (firstname.lastname@example.org