Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > South Korea Scrambles to Strengthen Import Controls as Capsules Seized Containing Human Flesh

South Korea Scrambles to Strengthen Import Controls as Capsules Seized Containing Human Flesh

Posted 08 May 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

South Korea is moving to quickly strengthen its import controls after encountering repeated attempts to smuggle in drug products containing the powdered remains of deceased human flesh, reports The Korea Times.

"The Korea Customs Service (KCS) said it apprehended 29 smugglers, who disguising themselves as tourists and attempted to bring some 11,000 capsules into Korea in their luggage," wrote The Korea Times. "Six people used international parcels to smuggle in the material, and some 6,000 capsules were confiscated."

South Korean authorities have reportedly been aware of attempts to smuggle in the capsules since August 2011.

Most disturbingly, the capsules contain the powdered remains of dried fetuses or dead babies, which The Korea Times notes are actually sought out for their purported rejuvinative properties.

CNN reports the substance contained within the pills were 99.7% identical with humans, and was likely obtained through hospitals in China.

The biological materials in the capsules reportedly contained bacteria and other substances harmful to public health, said Korean customs officials.

The reports have left Korean authorities scrambling to institute safeguards to protect the public, reports CNN.

"Korean officials said they will be putting in effect a significant number of measures to try to stem the smuggling of the pills," explained CNN, including "checking belongings of international travelers as well as global mail."

The pills have mostly been transported via the latter two routes, and smugglers have reportedly attempted to mix the capsules with herbs in an attempt to mask their otherwise distinct odor.

Read more:

The Korea Times - Traffickers of 'human-flesh capsules' arrested

CNN - Reports: South Korea clamps down on traffickers of 'human-flesh capsules'

Medical Daily - 17,500 'Cure-All' Pills Containing Powdered Infant Flesh Discovered by S.Korean Custom Officials

The News - South Korea finds smuggled capsules contain human flesh

BBC - S Korea 'to target powdered human flesh capsules'

Human Flesh Pills: China To Investigate Dead Baby Capsule Claims

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