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USFK soldier, 2 women arrested for drug trafficking

11:16 September 20, 2023

PYEONGTAEK, South Korea, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) -- A United States Forces Korea (USFK) service member has been arrested on charges of smuggling drugs from the U.S. via military mail and using, selling or distributing them in South Korea, police said Wednesday.

The 24-year-old service member is accused of illegally importing 350 ml of synthetic cannabis through USFK mail between February last year and May this year, and smoking, selling or distributing them to USFK soldiers and others together with two civilian women, according to the Gyeonggi Pyeongtaek Police Station.

This photo provided by police shows a raid on the home of a USFK soldier suspected of being involved in drug trafficking. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

The service member assigned to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, 61 kilometers south of Seoul, allegedly used plastic containers for drug smuggling, taking advantage of the fact that it is not easy to distinguish between liquid synthetic cannabis and liquid electronic cigarettes.

The smuggled drugs have been mostly sold to U.S. soldiers stationed in Pyeongtaek and Dongducheon, 41 km north of Seoul, through the two women and five others, the police station said.

It said the two women -- a South Korean and a Filipino -- have been arrested on drug trafficking charges and transferred to the prosecution for indictment. In addition, 17 other U.S. soldiers have been apprehended and sent to the prosecution without detention on suspicion of being involved in the purchases and sales of the banned substance.

Police have seized drug sales proceeds worth US$12,850, 80 ml of synthetic cannabis and other materials from the suspects and plan to continue investigating their smuggling routes.

Police said they will cooperate with USFK authorities to prevent crimes that abuse military mail as a route to smuggle drugs.



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