Drug-related crimes committed by foreign nationals on the rise
The number of foreign nationals convicted of drug-related offenses in South Korea has increased by 140% in two years, despite an overall decline in the foreign crime rate here, according to police data.
According to People Power Party representative Kang Ki-yoon, National Police Agency data, based on the number of bookings, shows a gradual increase in crimes committed by foreign nationals, reaching 36,069 in 2017, 34,832 in 2018, 39,249 in 2019. and 39,140 in 2020.
The increase has been slower than the overall population increase over the years, indicating an overall decline in the crime rate among the foreign population here.
And several serious crimes have seen declines. The number of foreign nationals investigated for murder fell 32%, from 106 to 80. Sex crimes, robbery and assault also fell from 4.2% to 17% during the period.
But the number of foreign nationals registered for drug crimes has more than doubled, from 620 in 2017 to 1,428 last year. The figures for 2018 and 2019 were 596 and 1028 respectively.
Police said the total number of drug-addicted offenders in Korea who were convicted last year was 18,050, up 12.5% from 2019. This is the highest number of bookings since the crackdown drug addicted offenders.
Along with the increase in drug-related crimes, the amount of drugs entering the country from abroad is also increasing.
Psychotropic drugs, such as methamphetamine, LSD and ecstasy, which were confiscated last year, totaled 304 kilograms, up 17.8% from the previous year, according to the customs service Korean. The data relate to all drugs seized at the border, regardless of who introduced them.
It is believed that most of the drugs marketed in Korea originate from Southeast Asia, where they are relatively easy to obtain. In many cases, drugs are imported in secret by international courier or courier, or by personal courier.
Along with drug-related crimes, white-collar crime such as fraud also increased by 53%, from 4,571 to 7,002 between 2017 and 2020, according to data released by Representative Kang.
By nationality, the biggest increase in the crime rate was seen among Vietnamese, who increased by 65%, from 1,877 in 2017 to 3,102 last year. The number of crimes committed by Pakistanis also increased by 62%, from 274 to 444. The number of crimes committed by people from Thailand (from 2,285 to 3,252) and Russia (from 1,072 to 1,477) also increased by about 40%.
The number of crimes committed by Chinese nationals, which is the largest, fell 5%, from 19,927 in 2017 to 18,922 last year. Japanese and American crime fell 46% (from 251 to 171) and 16% (from 1,906 to 1,643), respectively.
By Shin Ji-hye ([email protected])