The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency broke up a criminal ring that was selling counterfeit erectile dysfunction drugs in the country. The ring would buy fake Viagra from producers in China for $0.06 (70 South Korean Won) per tablet. They would then resell the counterfeit drugs to men in South Korea for $0.81 to $0.90 (900 to 1,000 Won) per tablet.
The price of legitimate Viagra made by Pfizer and sold at pharmacies in South Korea normally cost between $16.15 to $17.94 (18,000 Won to 20,000 Won) per tablet.
Source: Yonhap, “Nine nabbed for smuggling fake Viagra from China,” Yonhap News, May 15, 2013.
The Korea Customs Service reported that it seized $1.79 Billion (1.89 Trillion Won) from currency related crimes between January to September 2012. Included in that amount was assets that Korean citizens were attempting to stash in foreign countries to evade taxes.
The amount of total currency crimes seized by Customs was 68 percent higher than the previous year.
Source: “Customs agency to toughen clampdown on offshore tax evasion,” Yonhap News, January 16, 2013.
According to media reports, a South Korea prostitute charges $344 (10,000 Taiwan Dollars) for a single session with customers in Taiwan.
Due to a crackdown of pornography and prostitution in South Korea, more women are traveling to Taiwan on tourist visas and working for several weeks at a time.
Source: Beth Main, “Korean prostitutes flock to Taiwan after crackdown,” Shanghaiist, December 11, 2012.
There are an estimated 200,000 minors in South Korea who have runaway from home. 60 percent of these youths are females.
Around half of the estimated runaways in South Korea have worked as an underage prostitute, according to government statistics.
In total, there are an estimated 1.2 million women who are working as prostitutes in South Korea. This represents nearly 20 percent of all women between the age of 15-29.
Source: Jennifer Chang, ” SKorea’s secret: Runaway teen prostitution,” Al Jazeera, November 7, 2012.
Police in the southern Seoul district of Gangnam broke up a prostitution ring that were operating out of studio apartments in the district. Out of 24 different locations, each prostitution brothel serviced up to 65 customers per day, who each paid $117 (130,000 South Korean Won).
(More prostitution prices here)
Source: Yi Whan-woo, “Police bust prostitution ring in southern Seoul,” Korea Times, October 4, 2012.
There are at least 1,000 Asiatic Black Bears in South Korea that are farmed for their bear bile. In China, there are a reported 12,000 bears that are farmed for their bile.
30 percent of South Korean tourists who visit China purchase bear bile products and bring it back to their home country. This act is a violation of international trade laws.
(How to extract bear bile.)
Source: John R. Platt, “Bear Bile Industry Reportedly Shrinking in South Korea, but Chinese Market Stays Strong,” Scientific American, Blog, July 24, 2012.
In 2011, a reported 2,706 North Koreans defected from the country and entered South Korea.
Between January and March 2012, there were 366 North Korean defectors. Between April and June 2012, there were 385 defections.
After the death of Kin Jong Il, the number of defections dropped by 42 percent in the first half of 2012. South Korean officials attribute the drop in defections to increased security. The crackdown on defections have caused the price to bribe a border guard to increase. In 2012, the cost of a bribe was reported to be $6,000, compared to $1,000 a few years ago.
It was previously reported that it costs a defector up to $7,000 to smuggle a person from North Korea into China and eventually South Korea.
Source: Chico Harlan, “With crackdown, N. Korea puts a hold on defectors,” Washington Post, July 20, 2012.
There are an estimated 50,000 women from South Korea working in the sex trade in Japan. In the United States, there are an estimated 30,000 South Korean women working as prostitutes.
Media reports state that the number of South Korean women working as prostitutes in Japan was caused by a 2004 crackdown on the sex trade in South Korea, thus sending women to Japan. With the increase in South Korean prostitutes, the prices for sex has reportedly gone down.
In 2012, it was reported that men were paying around $125 (10,000 Japanese Yen) for a 60 minute session. Previously, the rate was $187 (15,000 Yen) per hour.
(See more prostitution prices from around the world here)
Source: Kazutaka Shimanaka, “Enough Korean hookers in Japan to fill a stadium,” Tokyo Reporter, May 30, 2012.
Every year, North Korean defectors living in South Korea send an estimated $10 Million to family and villages in North Korea. The 23,000 defectors send the money is bundles of $500 to $1,000 at a time. The amount of the bundles are enough to feed a family for one year in North Korea.
Source: Chico Harlan, “In North Korea, role of foreign currency grows,” Washington Post, February 15, 2012.
In 2010, South Korean authorities seized 8,200 grams of foreign-produced methamphetamine within the country. Of that total, around 57 percent of the illicit drugs originated from China. Law enforcement believe that a large portion of the drugs were trafficked through North Korea on its way towards South Korea.
Source: Kim Young-Jin, “North Korea feared to flood South with drugs,” Korea Times, February 8, 2012.