May 08, 2012 12:58
The Korea Customs Service has seized a total of 17,000 capsules containing powdered human flesh in foiled attempts to smuggle them into Korea since August 2011, it said Monday.
Illegal sales of capsules containing the powdered flesh of dead babies from China are not uncommon, and some of the powder has been found in medicinal herbs markets in Seoul.
Customs has now vowed to boost checks of travelers' luggage and parcels from overseas, but medicinal herb traders point put that tougher monitoring will not work. They the distribution channels are constantly changing, no one knows how many have already been sold, and there is a steady demand due to traditional beliefs that they are good for health. "If they crack down more rigorously, it’ll only bring up the price," one trader said.
The price of one capsule was around W8,000 (US$1=W1,139) last year but has reportedly skyrocketed to W40,000-50,000 recently.
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