[사회]Last year, drug offenders ‘highest number in history’… Increased smuggling due to Corona 19

[앵커]

The number of drug offenders caught during the year was once again the highest on record last year.

Online sales through SNS or the so-called ‘dark web’ have increased, and especially in the COVID-19 situation, cases of smuggling using international mail have increased.

Reporter Kang Hee-kyung reports.

[기자]

A residential villa in Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

When I open the plastic barrel under the purple light, I see small mushrooms growing.

It is a so-called ‘psychedelic mushroom’, a new drug.

From April to June of last year, a gang of psychedelic mushrooms was caught by the prosecution after they had sterilizers, microscopes, and LED lighting in their residential villas, and then cultivated and sold hallucinogenic mushrooms 40 times.

The sales channel was the ‘dark web’ where anonymity was guaranteed by accessing a special browser.

It has been found that the number of drug offenders who buy seeds and equipment at such a low price and then sell them through social media or the dark web with specialized cultivation facilities is increasing.

As accessibility became easier, the number of drug offenders caught last year stood at 18,50, a whopping 12.5% ​​increase from the previous year.

Following last year’s statistics, this time also recorded the highest number on record.

The number of drug offenders under the age of 19 who are easily exposed to drug advertisements has increased markedly as the use of smartphones has become more common.

Last year, the number of youth drug offenders increased by 31% from the previous year to 313.

In particular, last year, as Corona 19 spread, there were many cases of drug smuggling using international mail and express freight.

The prosecution, which published the drug white paper, said that it plans to focus on blocking narcotics from overseas in advance in cooperation with relevant foreign agencies.

In addition, in order to block drug smuggling through the Internet and SNS, monitoring and follow-up investigations will be strengthened, and drug demand will be reduced through treatment, rehabilitation, and education.

YTN Kang Hee-kyung[kanghk@ytn.co.kr]is.

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