S Korean President Calls for ‘War’ on Crypto-powered Drug Trafficking
South Korean President Yoon Seok-yeol has declared an “all-out war” on crypto-powered drug trafficking after a large number of narcotics-trading teens were handed jail time.
Per Today Korea, Yoon said there was a “need” to “mobilize all government capabilities in the fight against drugs.”
At a cabinet meeting held at the Presidential Office in Seoul on April 18, Yoon said:
“It is shocking that drugs are widely distributed among teenagers, our next generation. Teenagers are now participating in drug smuggling or distribution organizations.”
He spoke of a recent “incident” whereby he said police found evidence a dealer had sold “390,000 doses” of narcotics via “Telegram, the darkweb, and cryptocurrency.”
An increasing number of teens and people aged in their twenties are being handed jail sentences for trading drugs.
Police say they are making use of encrypted chat apps like Telegram to arrange drug deals.
Dealers typically ask clients to pay for narcotics in Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins.
The nation was rocked by the case of a 14-year-old girl who was found slumped in a public stairwell after allegedly using crypto to buy $300 worth of methamphetamine (crystal meth).
Korean-language dealers are advertising their services with impunity on Twitter, Cryptonews.com has found.
A Spike in South Korean Crypto-powered Drug Crimes
Yoon claimed that drug-related crimes were “expected to increase” and “exceed 20,000 cases this year for the first time in history.”
He bemoaned the fact that “until the past 10 years or so,” South Korea had remained free of the scourge of narcotics.
He said that this had been made possible “by the efforts of many organizations, such as the prosecution and police, as well as the coast guard, the health authorities, and customs officials.”
And Yoon called on the government to make a “comprehensive response” to the phenomenon.
He asked “investigative and judicial authorities” to do likewise.
The President said:
“Let’s all join forces to eradicate the spate of drug crimes that is eating away at the country.”
However, the same media outlet claimed that the opposition Democratic Party was “in a position to put the brakes on” plans.
The party expresses concerns that some Ministry of Justice-led plans, which they believe are based on illegal enforcement ordinances, could potentially lead to proposed new search powers violating citizens' rights.