The reality of ‘drugs that permeate our daily life’ revealed by drug crime investigators
“In the bathroom of a swapping club… Wrecker drivers on the highway”
When you put your hand in a post box on the street, there is a pine groove at the top, under a potted plant or under stairs in a one-room building in the neighborhood, behind a toilet in a public bathroom, on a window sill, under a bench in a playground… It sticks to places that are not easily noticed. 1g of white powder piled up in a small plastic bag about 3cm in length and width. If you find this place exactly without hesitation and take off the ‘thing’, you are the one who paid the price of 800,000 won for 1 gram to the seller. If you’re hesitant to look around with blurred eyes, you may be an addict who has no money and is snooping around where you bought things in the past.
The person with the object is ‘A’, and the person who is hungry for the object is ‘B’.
The most common method of selling drugs is ‘throwing’. There are conditions that must be met by the place where the object is thrown. It should be a building with a door on the first floor that does not automatically close, should be open 24 hours a day, and should not be exposed to rain. ‘Dropper ( Drug transport book)’ is limited to areas designated by the seller, such as Gangnam, Itaewon, Suwon, Daejeon, and Busan, and finds a place that meets the conditions and attaches 1g or 2g of methamphetamine. Then, the seller is sent a collage (one image with several photos superimposed) of photos with the goods attached, photos with the street name and address, and supplementary photos explaining the route to the place, and writes down how many grams were thrown away.
The seller sees the Internet advertisement and contacts the person who contacts him through Telegram, receives payment by bank transfer or bitcoin, sends a collage photo, and asks him to pick up the product himself. Transactions are made through a system in which it is impossible to know the face or name of the person who sold it, and it is impossible to guess the age or gender of the person who bought it.
The ‘customer is king’ culture in the market, which we commonly know, does not work. In this world, there is actually a class, and along the line of business, the side that gives goods is called the ‘merchant line’, and the side that receives the item is called the ‘disembarkation line’. The first source of supply is the top line, and the retailer at the intermediate level is either a merchant ship or a disembarkation ship. The injector is the most disillusioned. If you are kind to customers, you will be suspected of selling ‘fake’ goods or misunderstood as a scammer. ‘A’ is always the one who has things, and ‘B’ is the one who is hungry for things. A structure that has no choice but to pay the price as Gap calls. This is a picture of the Republic of Korea, a society where drugs permeate life.
Drug investigation is timing. If the timing is right and the site is cracked down, the possession, manufacture, sale, and administration of drugs can be caught at once. However, it is not easy to find the timing to attack the scene without tolerable information. Think of a crab that disappears into the tidal flat. It digs a hole as soon as it is discovered, but it hides much faster.
Informants fearing retaliation are reluctant to testify… ‘Tail cutting’ is also rampant
These are drug-related intelligence reports received by the police this year. Quite specific circumstances are pouring in, but in many cases, they are reluctant to make statements necessary for a warrant request. Because they are afraid of their identity being exposed. Anonymous statements are possible, but even this is rarely willing to cooperate. Even if a warrant is requested by filling in as many specific circumstances as possible, the court will often dismiss the case without specific statements. For this reason, less than 10% of the drug-related information received each month is actually investigated. It is frustrating for the police, who need to obtain a warrant to track the location of a cell phone, but the reality is that they cannot investigate with suspicion only according to the principle of presumption of innocence.
The reason why informants are reluctant to testify is obvious. This is because most of them are eyewitness accounts based on their own experiences, so it is like giving up on drug crimes at the same time as reporting. Even if a probation or a fine is imposed due to some degree of extenuating circumstances, it will remain on the record. There is no one who wants to report it until he becomes an ex-convict. Even if you simply witnessed the sight of drug administration, you will refuse to testify if your interests are intertwined, such as related to your livelihood. A police official said, “Even people who have nothing to do with drug crimes will have immediate difficulties in their livelihood. How many people will cooperate with the investigation to create a drug-free country?”
Another is fear of retaliation. It is very rare to make a statement in a situation where the safety of oneself and one’s family is threatened. After being imprisoned, it is said that there are many people who inquired about the person who reported them. According to experience, the drug market is also narrow, so there are cases in which inmates in prison exchange letters to identify a suspected person, spread rumors, and isolate that person from further drug dealing. Whether you are a seller or a dispenser, being isolated in this world puts you in a very difficult position where you can no longer work or buy additional medicines. There was also a case in which a teenager was arrested and indicted in August of last year on charges of confining and assaulting a person who reported that he was taking methamphetamine.
The drug investigation is sometimes called the ‘potato vine’ among the police because the dealer, the carrier, the dropper, and the dispenser are entangled like a spider’s web. Once a person is arrested, there are many investigations that draw out a statement about an accomplice and bite the tail after tail. Drug offenders can trade sentences. When caught, it is common to expose an accomplice because it can reduce your sentence to the extent that you cooperate with the investigation. If the drug owner is arrested, the person who sold the drug is found out and the person who sold the drug is arrested. Cases in which a large number of drug dealers are prosecuted or a large number of people taking drugs, such as celebrities and sports players, are caught in this case.
Conversely, blocking further tracking through ‘tail cutting’ also happens technically. The sacrificial lambs are the disembarking ships located below the trading line. When carriers bringing in drugs from Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, and the Philippines are caught at airports, when droppers are caught throwing or possessing drugs in the country, or when users are caught carrying syringes, their tails are easily cut off. Delivery of goods and purchase of drugs through Telegram are often difficult to track. Due to the will of the founder of Telegram not to provide user information to anyone, Telegram has become a guarantee check among criminals that their identities will not be revealed.
“As the domestic drug market grows, competition among drug dealers intensifies.”
Drugs are called ‘100 times’ business. It is presumed that ‘money’ is a big part of why young people in their 20s and 30s become drug dealers and fall into addiction. A police official said, “Drugs are a 100-fold business. You buy 100 pills for 10,000 won per pill and sell them for 1 million won per pill. You have a carrier deliver 100 pills and pay for 10 million won. Even if you spend 10 million won to reduce the risk, you will lose 90 million won.
Over the past five years, the age of drug offenders has rapidly become younger. In the 2022 Narcotics White Paper published by the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, looking at the current status of drug offenders by age over the past five years, the proportion of people in their 20s and 30s has increased significantly. The number of drug offenders in their twenties, which was only 16.8% of the total (12,613) with 2,118 in 2018, nearly doubled to 31.6% last year. Teenagers also more than doubled from 1.1% (143 people) to 2.6% (481 people). Those in their 30s are also on the rise, from 23.8% (2996 people) to 25.6% (4703 people). When looking at the causes of crime, addiction (19.8%), curiosity (12.5%), temptation (9.9%), and cleverness (8.9%) are the most common.
The modifier that Korea is a ‘drug-free country’ has long been an old saying. Drug crimes in our society have already surpassed the serious level and are even being analyzed that they missed the golden time. Last year, the total number of drug offenders was 18,395, a 13.9% increase from the 온라인바카라previous year (16,153). The government, recognizing the seriousness, is putting a ‘drive’ on crackdowns at the national level, but it seems that the trend is not easily broken because it is already spreading.
A police official said, “Drugs are a crime without victims. It is very difficult compared to other investigations because there are no victims. For theft, for example, you can say, ‘There were 100 theft crimes, but the police caught 50 cases.’ It’s impossible,” he explained .
The recent incident in which drugs, a hidden criminal, were openly manufactured and distributed as drinks in an academy district in Gangnam, Seoul, shocked our society. Mr. A, who has a high understanding of the drug market, analyzed the case in relation to this case, “I think it was the result of excessive competition among dealers as the domestic drug market expanded.” As it became possible to easily purchase drugs from abroad using the Internet, SNS , and messengers, the domestic drug market grew rapidly, and competition among drug dealers intensified. As the number of addicts increases due to drug trade, the vicious cycle continues, inevitably increasing the supply again.
“Like sex crimes, legal grounds for entrapment and camouflage investigations must be prepared”
It is pointed out that entrapment and camouflage investigations should be allowed for drug crimes. It is to eradicate drug crimes that are becoming more and more sophisticated and sophisticated. In the past, when drug crimes were rare, most investigations were conducted through reports. It is pointed out that more active support is needed to expand the investigation to the dealer following the arrest of the on-scene criminals by the police who were dispatched after receiving the report.
Another police official said, “It is true that support for drug investigations has increased compared to the past to the extent that it can be felt superficially. However, institutional and financial support for more efficient investigations is urgently needed. For example, there is a legal basis for entrapment investigations in sex crimes, but there is a lack of legal basis for entrapment investigations or camouflage investigations in drug investigations.”
Hong Wan-hee, head of the Daegu District Prosecutor’s Office’s Violent Crime Detective Department, also recently said at the ‘2023 Academic Conference on Criminal and Legal Policies in Responding to Current State Issues’, “To respond to advanced drug crimes, we need to nurture experts in tracking virtual assets used for drug purchases, and ‘entrapment investigations’ such as disguise sales and infiltration investigations, albeit in a limited way.”