international cocaine czar who managed to distribute cocaine worth 160 billion won ($147 million) from South America to European countries was revealed to be a 59-year-old Korean
international cocaine czar who managed to distribute cocaine worth 160 billion won ($147 million) from South America to European countries was revealed to be a 59-year-old Korean man with Suriname citizenship, prosecutors said. The man is said to have formed ties with the largest drug cartel in South America and distributed an unprecedented amount of cocaine.
The Supreme Prosecutors’ Office said yesterday that the Korean man surnamed Cho has been indicted on charges of smuggling cocaine from South America into Europe using Koreans as carriers after forming a drug ring in both Korea and South America. He was extradited to Korea in May. Cho hired 12 Koreans residing in South America and delivered a total of 48.5 kilograms (107 pounds) of cocaine into European countries from 2004 to 2005. But prosecutors said the Koreans he hired were unaware of the fact that they were taking part in the drug smuggling. After forming a drug ring with Europeans, Surinamese and Koreans, Cho delivered 37 kilograms of cocaine to French Guiana in 2004 and 11.5 kilograms from Peru to Spain in 2005, prosecutors said. The total amount of 48.5 kilograms of cocaine is reported to be the largest amount for a drug smuggling case ever investigated by Korea. The amount was enough for 1.6 million people to be using the drug at the same time. Prosecutors said that Cho “used naive Koreans including housewives and young women in South America as carriers by tricking them into thinking they were carrying a gemstone.” Cho paid them 5 million won per trip. Four hired Koreans were caught at airport customs in France and Peru.