A crackdown on drug abuse this year led to a record 22,393 arrests, the government said Wednesday. The number of arrested teenage offenders surged around 10-fold from 119 in 2017 to 1,174 this year, probably because it is now much easier to obtains drugs on the Internet.The crackdown, a joint operation by the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office, Korean National Police Agency, Korea Coast Guard, Ministry of National Defense, National Intelligence Service and Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, netted 7,754 offenders in their teens and 20s. They made up one-third of total arrests.Among the total, 5.2 percent were teenagers and 29.3 percent in their 20s. Many of the teens who were arrested on drug abuse charges were also involved in distribution and sale.
Arrests of drug producers and smugglers also increased with some 7,301 people arrested for dealing, up 1.8 times from last year. "These statistics show that drug crime is getting more organized," a police spokesman said.The amount of seized drugs surged 1.4 times from last year to 909.7 kg.