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[Newsmaker] Leader of drug-trafficking ring gets 9-year prison term in appeals trial

The Seoul High Court on Sunday sentenced the leader of South Korea's largest drug-trafficking syndicate to nine years in prison for distributing about 730,000 doses of methamphetamine smuggled from Taiwan.

The 63-year-old leader, identified by his surname, Yoon, and an accomplice, surnamed Woo, 53, were charged with distributing 22 kilograms of methamphetamine. That amount was part of a total of 112 kg of methamphetamine smuggled by a Taiwanese crime ring in July and August last year.


Woo was sentenced seven years in prison.

The lower court had handed down 14-year and 10-year prison terms to Yoon and Woo, respectively, but the appeals court reduced their sentences, saying a series of related charges against them should be counted as one, not separately.

Still, the court said their crime was serious.

"Given that their method of crime is organized and professional, and that the amount of methamphetamine involved in the defendants' case is large enough for 730,000 people to inject at the same time, the crime is very serious," the court said. (Yonhap)