Drug crimes are rising in Gangwon Province, with those allegedly committed by teenagers and foreign nationals each showing marked increases.
According to data released by Chuncheon District Prosecutors' Office, cases of drug crimes involving teenagers in the province amounted to 103 last year, up from 27 in 2018, in the province with a population of over 1.5 million.
As for the number of foreign nationals, the figure came to 85 in 2022, up from nine in 2018. Thai nationals accounted for the majority of that at 75, followed by Russians at five and Chinese at three, along with one Uzbek national.
Last year’s offenders included Thai nationals convicted of trafficking 3.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, and a local high school student who was found guilty of delivering methamphetamine to buyers.
In response to the increase in drug crimes, authorities in Gangwon Province including the prosecutors’ office and police, as well as National Intelligence Service's Gangwon branch and the Gangwon Province education office, have formed a task force to tackle the issue.