YESAN, South Korea, Feb. 13 (Yonhap) — Police said Monday they have arrested six people, including three North Korean defectors, for charges of trafficking, peddling and using North Korean-made methamphetamine.
The police in Yesan, a city in the central province of South Chungcheong, also said they are chasing two others involved in allegedly trafficking the drug, known as “bingdu” in North Korea, and marijuana around areas on the country’s west coast.
Authorities previously apprehended a man, one of the eight, on suspicions of supplying bingdu to a drug user who died from an overdose of the drug in the city in late December. Police said the man gave a North Korean defector commission in return for receiving the North Korea-made drugs and providing them to other drug users.
During the bust, the police seized 4.05 grams of bingdu and 250 grams of marijuana, as well as drug paraphernalia including pipes and syringes.
Five of the eight are people who drove snowplows, door-to-door delivery vehicles and dump trucks, police said.
“It appears that North Korean defectors and freight vehicle drivers have been involved in the spread of North Korean-made drugs,” Kim Ki-hyun, head of the investigation team at the Yesan Police Station said. “Some of the suspects confessed that they were driving under the influence of drugs, which makes us worry about traffic accidents affecting others’ lives.”