22kg of methamphetamine caught during May and August
Enforcement performance more than 3 times higher than before operation
▲ Yoon Tae-sik (left), Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, poses for a commemorative photo after signing a letter of intent to strengthen mutual cooperation on drug control with Pongthep Buasap, deputy director of the General Bureau of Customs and Customs of Thailand, at a seminar on the performance evaluation of the Korean-Thai drug control held at Novotel Ambassador Gangnam in Seoul on the 20th.
provided by customs
In a joint drug smuggling operation with the General Customs Service of Thailand from May to last month, the Customs Service discovered 35 cases of illegal narcotics, including about 22 kg of methamphetamine, about 290,000 tablets of Yava, and 479 tablets of MDMA (aka ecstasy).
The customs authorities of the two countries announced on the 20th that they had achieved such results by conducting a crackdown operation ‘Siren’ for four months from May. In November last year, the Korea Customs Service proposed a joint crackdown on drug smuggling from Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. Of the 123 cases of methamphetamine smuggling detected by the Korea Customs Service last year, 60 cases were smuggling from Thailand.
On May 2, the customs authorities of the two countries set up joint enforcement and control headquarters at two places: the General Bureau of Customs in Thailand and Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, and analyzed and shared information on narcotics smuggling in real time. A cargo suspected of concealing narcotics from Thailand brought into Korea was tracked.
During the four-month crackdown, 35 cases of illegal narcotics were discovered, which was three times higher than the 11 cases of drug smuggling from Thailand caught in the four months before the operation. The weight of the drug caught is enough to allow 3.92 million people to take the drug at the same time and 230,000 people to become addicted.
The routes of smuggling were 29 cases of international mail, 4 cases of express cargo, and 2 cases of mobile phone cases of air travelers. It is analyzed that international mail is mainly used because it is cheaper to transport than express freight and it is difficult to trace due to unclear sender and consignee information.
The Korea Customs Service said, “The siren operation is the first bilateral joint drug smuggling operation by the Korea Customs Service, and it is evaluated as a successful case of cooperation between the customs authorities of Korea and Thailand.”
On the 20th, the customs authorities of the two countries also signed a letter of intent to strengthen mutual cooperation on the control of narcotics. The letter of intent contains contents such as an annualization of joint crackdowns, real-time exchange of information on narcotics smuggling, and vitalization of seminars and human exchanges.
In addition, a seminar on the performance evaluation of the siren operation was held at Novotel Ambassador Gangnam in Seoul on the same day. The seminar was attended by a total of 70 officials from relevant domestic and foreign agencies, including customs authorities of both countries, the World Customs Organization (WCO), the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the prosecution. The progress and achievements of this operation and major cases of detection were shared, and methods for crackdown on raw materials for narcotics and narcotics detection were discussed.
Yoon Tae-sik, Commissioner of the Korea Customs Service, said, “We were able to confirm that the joint crackdown between the customs authorities at the place of supply and consumption of narcotics is an effective means to prevent and block the smuggling of narcotics. We will strengthen the cooperative system with relevant domestic and foreign organizations,” he said.
Reporter Sejong Park Ki-seok