Drug case makes Korea monitor soldiers’ mail

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Drug case makes Korea monitor soldiers’ mail

Korea will strengthen monitoring of international mail delivered to the U.S. soldiers stationed here, the foreign ministry said yesterday, in light of a drug trafficking case involving an active American soldier who mailed himself contraband.

The latest measure comes as Korean prosecutors said Thursday they secured an arrest warrant for a U.S. Army private accused of smuggling large amounts of synthetic marijuana from Hungary via international mail and will indict him on drug charges next week.

The foreign ministry recently held a meeting with working officials of the Justice Ministry, law enforcement agencies and the tax agency to discuss ways to put international mail delivered to American servicemen under closer watch to better detect illegal substances, said a ministry official.
The ministry will also step up information sharing with Korean branches of the U.S. Criminal Investigation Division and the Drug Enforcement Agency to prevent armed forces from smuggling drugs into the country.
The ministry also plans to urge the U.S. authority through diplomatic channels to pay more attention to drug-related issues, according to ministry officials.
“It doesn’t seem as if drug smuggling has increased compared to the past,” a ministry official said. “The latest trend shows that new drugs are more popular than marijuana.” The official said most of the smuggled drugs brought by U.S. soldiers are sold to fellow soldiers and foreign residents in the nation, saying the governments of the two nations agreed to work closely to curb drug use.

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