South Korean Police Arrest Girl Aged 14 for Buying Crystal Meth with Crypto

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read
A flag emblazoned with the symbol of the South Korean police force mounted on a flagpole.
Source: Maxim/Adobe

A 14-year-old South Korean girl has been arrested on suspicion of using cryptoassets to buy methamphetamine (crystal meth).

Per Dong-a Ilbo, the girl is a third-grade middle school student who lives in the Dongdaemun District of Central Seoul. Police say she was found “collapsed” on a stairwell in an apartment block. Officers say she had dissolved the substance – also known as Philopon in East Asian nations – in a bottle of water.

Officers explained that the girl had paid just over $300 worth of crypto for 10 “doses” of methamphetamine. Police said the girl had managed to find the ID of a Telegram-based drug dealer “without any difficulty” while she was “searching the internet out of curiosity.”

They think the girl may have discovered this information via an unnamed social media site. has seen extensive evidence of Korean-language posts – apparently from drug dealers – on platforms such as Twitter. Many such posts contain Telegram and KakaoTalk IDs, with many featuring images of what appear to be bags of drugs.

South Korean Police to Intensify Crackdown on Crypto-powered Drug Dealing

The girl was charged with violating the Narcotics Control Act. She claimed that this was her “first encounter with drugs.” But police say they will conduct a series of medical tests to determine the veracity of her claims.

Officers say that the drug dealer used a “dead drop” delivery method, leaving the narcotics in “a crack in the door” of a residential area in Seoul’s Gwangjin District.

Police stated that they were also “planning to investigate” further in a bid to identify the dealer.

Earlier this week, the National Police Agency stated that it had launched a new cybercrime taskforce. The taskforce will be charged with busting dark web-based crime networks and investigating crypto-related crimes.

Police have enjoyed some success tracking down drug dealers and their clients in recent months. Late last year, they revealed that they had ramped up their spending on blockchain analytics tools and crypto-specific training.