South Korean Police Arrest 452 People on Crypto-powered Drug Trafficking Charges

South Korean police continue to wage “war” on crypto-powered drug trafficking, with officers in the capital Seoul making 452 arrests from June 2022 to December 2023.

Per the media outlet Money Today, police arrested three suspected drug dealers. Officers also charged 445 buyers and four illegal “cryptoasset trading platform operators.”

South Korean Police in Uphill Struggle Against Crypto-powered Drug Crime?
Police released data showing that their investigations date back from 2018 to the end of 2023.

The nation is struggling with what politicians have called an “epidemic” of youth crypto-powered drug trading.

Officers said that 90% of the people they arrested were aged between 20 and 39, with five teenagers also charged.

Police teams around the country have made crypto-powered drug trafficking-related arrests in the past.

But this marks the first time officers have succeeded in shutting down a suspected illegal crypto exchange run by narcotics-related gangs.

A police spokesperson said that 146 of the suspects had prior criminal records. The spokesperson added that the majority (60%) of the deals involved marijuana.

Over 23% of the trades involved methamphetamine (also known as crystal meth). Other deals involved drugs like ecstasy (MDMA), synthetic marijuana, and ketamine.

The teenage suspects reportedly told police that they were able to find dealers via social media broadcasts and internet posts. was able to see scores of what appeared to be Korean-language advertisements for drug dealers who claimed to be able to “deliver” narcotics “nationwide” on X (Twitter) and Telegram channels.

Police released images of some of the items they had seized during their raids.

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