Seoul Police Arrest 445 for Drug Purchases Through Social Media

SEOUL — The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced on Wednesday the arrest of 445 individuals, predominantly in their 20s and 30s, for buying and consuming drugs acquired through the dark web and social media over the last five years. This operation highlights a growing trend of drug transactions facilitated by the anonymity and convenience of online platforms.

According to Yonhap News Agency, from February 2018 to April 2023, these individuals engaged in purchasing a total of 3.7 kilograms of marijuana, 469 grams of methamphetamine, 100 tablets of ecstasy, and 305 grams of synthetic cannabis. The majority of these transactions were conducted on Telegram, employing a "drop-off" method for drug pickup.

The demographic data reveals that 89.7 percent of those arrested fall within the 20 to 39 age range, including five teenagers who reportedly bought drugs out of curiosity, with only a few among them actually consuming the substances. The police highlighted the role of social media's ease of use and anonymity, akin to the dark web, in facilitating the trade of narcotics among young people.

Additionally, three individuals have been formally arrested in separate cases for selling drugs, including 600 grams of marijuana, 60 tablets of ecstasy, and 2 grams of methamphetamine, through social media channels between November 2019 and February 2023.

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