An appeals court on Monday upheld an eight-year prison term for a smuggler who attempted to bring chocolate-covered methamphetamine pills into South Korea.
The Gwangju High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the smuggler, a Thai national whose identity has been withheld, convicting for breaching the Act on the Aggravated Punishment of Specific Crimes. The gender of the convicted was not known.
The customs office at Incheon International Airport discovered the 10,123 pills of yaba -- a mix of methamphetamine and caffeine -- on their arrival from Thailand in October last year.
The drugs, worth 180 million won ($135,500), were covered in chocolate, wrapped in aluminum foil and disguised in snack boxes to avoid authorities’ attention.
The investigation found that the smuggler had sent multiple text messages that contained the phrase “sell some chicken.” Chicken is a slang term for yaba in the Thailand.
Investigators found that the smuggler supported his family in Thailand through the illegal financial gains he had earned in Korea.
The court said in its ruling that drug crimes negatively affect society, citing that drug-related offenses are not easy to detect, and they can later lead to severe dependence and addiction and even cause hallucinations.
Separately, the investigative authorities arrested a Korean national linked to the case by secretly removing the drugs from the package and sending it to the Korean delivery address. The Korean was arrested when he took receipt of the package.