Major drug bust shakes US army bases in South Korea


In a high-profile joint operation, South Korean police and the US Army’s Criminal Investigation Division hit the jackpot, discovering a shocking cache of illicit drugs and cash. Their search unveiled over four kilograms of suspicious mixed liquids used for vaping, a staggering 77g of synthetic cannabis, and a cold hard $12,850 in cash.

The intriguing details of the raid

Dramatic footage released by the police showcases a horde of 27 electronic cigarette devices, wads of $50 and $100 bills, a plethora of cell phones, and what appears to be vibrant vape pens. The stage for this significant drug bust? Camp Humphreys, the largest US military base outside American soil, and Camp Casey, both strategic locations in South Korea.

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The chain of distribution: An intricate web

The plot thickens with the arrest of a South Korean individual and a Filipino, both implicated in drug distribution. The spotlight, however, shines on a 24-year-old American soldier. This individual allegedly played courier, smuggling in 350 millilitres of liquid synthetic cannabis from the US, leveraging military mail for his illicit activities. The chain didn’t end there; the Filipino acted as a middleman, offloading the shipment to a South Korean distributor and fellow US servicemen.

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USFK in the crosshairs: A response

The United States Forces Korea (USFK) didn’t remain silent. In a statement, they acknowledged the investigation into the alleged illegal activities of 17 soldiers, stressing their adherence to South Korean laws and complete support of the ongoing investigation.

The high stakes of drug use in South Korea

South Korea isn’t the place for recreational drug use. With a deep-rooted cultural aversion to drugs and stiff penalties, including prison sentences of up to five years and hefty fines, the risks are monumental. Synthetic marijuana, although bearing similarity to cannabis, comes with its own set of dangers, including severe health effects such as acute psychotic episodes and severe agitation.

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