S.Korea's smuggled drug hits record high in 2021

The amount of smuggled drug, impounded by the South Korean customs agency, hit a record high last year due to an increased drug trafficking through international mail amid the COVID-19 pandemic, data showed Wednesday.

File photo: Agencies

A total of 1,272 kilograms of drugs were confiscated in 2021, up 757 percent from the previous year, according to Korea Customs Service. It was the highest since data began to be compiled.

The pandemic increased the drug smuggling via international mail and cargo, which spiked 1,288 percent on-year to 1,258 kg last year. The drug delivery by travelers tumbled 77 percent.

The amount of confiscated methamphetamine surged 849 percent over the year to 577 kg in 2021, as the customs agency seized 402.8 kg of methamphetamine in maritime cargo from Mexico in July.

The seized cocaine amounted to 448 kg in 2021, sharply up from 153 grams tallied a year earlier. The amount of impounded hemp jumped 50 percent to 99 kg.