Updated May. 07, 2012 04:59
The Korea Customs Service said Sunday that it will strengthen its crackdown on smuggling human flesh capsules made from dead fetuses and babies who died soon after birth.
The measure came after the program "Lee Yeong-dons Food X File was aired on Channel A on April 27 about the smuggling into Korea of human flesh capsules made in China and the results of a study that found harmful effect of the substance.
Customs authorities found 35 cases involving 17,451 of the capsules from August last year to March this year. After the existence of the capsules was first made public through a report by the monthly magazine Shin Dong-A in August last year, just seven cases were discovered through September last year, but the number of smuggling incidents jumped five-fold for six months thereafter.
Human flesh capsules are being smuggled into Korea from northeastern China at the request of Korean buyers.
The customs agency will significantly beef up customs clearance management of international travelers belongings and global mail. Customs agents will open packages and check all capsules and powder made from unknown substances among travelers belongings and mail from China, and inspect items labeled as pharmaceutical products.
To dodge the crackdown, smugglers have mixed the capsules with vegetable extract to make it impossible to discern the color and smell of the capsules, or open packages and replace the contents of ordinary pharmaceutical products with the capsules in a process dubbed box switching.
The Channel A program carried footage of the process and introduced examples in which the capsules were delivered to offices in Korea.
A customs official said, Since human flesh capsules are confirmed to contain ingredients lethal to humans, including super bacteria, we will preemptively curb their smuggling at borders to protect public health.