This photo, provided by the drug crime investigation unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Tuesday, shows illegal drugs confiscated in a crackdown of a drug trafficking ring that smuggled narcotics from Southeast Asia. (Yonhap)
Twenty-six people have been apprehended on charges of smuggling illegal drugs from Southeast Asia and distributing them across the country, police said Tuesday.
Police also caught 45 others who purchased drugs from the dealers of a drug trafficking ring. Of the total of 71 suspects, 22 were formally arrested.
The dealers were found to have smuggled methamphetamine, synthetic cannabinoids and other narcotics from unidentified Southeast Asian countries from May last year to August by hiding them inside vehicle components to pass customs surveillance.
To avoid tracking, they usually hid drugs in places difficult to notice across the country, including Seoul, Incheon, and provinces of Gyeonggi and Chungcheong, and gave buyers instructions on how to find them through social network services, according to police.
Police also confiscated drugs worth about 27 billion won ($22.9 million), including 6.64 kilograms of meth, enough to be administered to over 287,000 people at the same time, 5.46 kg of synthetic cannabinoids, 5,191 tablets of ecstasy and 1.04 kg of ketamine.
Police plan to work with Interpol to arrest a leader of the ring accused of supplying the drugs from Southeast Asia. (Yonhap)