Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Partner-swapping meth-heads and Canadian pothead with 4 plants caught; Guess who gets more coverage?

Today the Korea Herald published the following article, "Canadian caught in South Korea growing marijuana in apartment":
A 47-year-old Canadian was caught growing cannabis in his residence and habitually smoking it, South Korean police said Monday. [...]

The man allegedly set up facilities like a ventilator, electronic heater and reflecting plate on the balcony to grow the weed for years.

He reportedly lost his job as a university lecturer as allegations about him smoking cannabis surfaced at his workplace.

The Busan Police Agency booked a total of 42 people on charges of possessing or taking illegal drugs in violation of the act on the control of narcotics. Among them, 15 were booked and 27 were taken into custody.

Police seized 59.31 grams of methamphetamine and 7.59 grams of marijuana from them worth 200 million won ($162,000).

While they don't make it very clear, the amount of pot seized was, at most, 7.59 grams from, at most, 4 plants - hardly a huge haul. It certainly doesn't compare to the money to be earned from the 59 grams of meth seized. 11 out of 25 of the articles mention the foreign professor in the headlines, but  the 41 other people barely register, and only 7 articles mention this fact in their headline, as KNN does.
From marijuana-growing professors to a swapping married couple... various drug crimes

Foreign professor's apartment "marijuana farm"

A foreign university professor who even set up a marijuana farm in his apartment and smoked it was caught by police..

Sexually promiscuous acts were committed while high by astounding drug users who were also arrested.
I had to twist that last sentence a little to capture the way that the Korean sentence "환각상태에서 성적으로 문란한 짓까지 저지른 기막힌 마약사범들도 체포됐습니다" gives sordid details before revealing it is referring to someone else (as in, not the teacher); this blurring also occurs later in the report.

As for the swapping couple and their sexually promiscuous acts, No Cut News fills in the details:
Among [those arrested for meth], it was revealed that Mr. Kim (55) and Mrs. Lee (43), who are in a common law marriage, would engage in swapping with other men and women while high on meth.

Police said that they confessed that when they were swapping, in order to forget their shame and increase their sexual pleasure, they took meth with men and women [or perhaps, a man and a woman] they met through a chatting app and swapped several times. 
Really though, choosing to highlight the foreign teacher with his four pot plants over the above story? Korean media, you just.... you disappoint me.

Oh wait - no you don't, since MBN managed to turn out something I haven't seen in awhile:
Endless native speaking-instructor drug criminals... worry over secondary crimes

A Canadian who grew marijuana on his apartment balcony and even smoked marijuana was arrested. When he was caught it was discovered he had been a native-speaking professor at a university; drug crimes by native speaking instructors placed in educational facilities are never ending.
This is reporter Park Sang-ho.

Police storm into an apartment where a native speaking professor lives.

Upon going to the veranda, they discovered a greenhouse had been set up, with even a heater, reflectors, and a ventilator.

The man, a Canadian national, secretly bought marijuana seeds from Thailand in 2010 and grew them himself and for years made and smoked marijuana.

Interview: Kim Chang-rip, head of the Busan Police Drug Investigation Unit -
"I understand that if the conditions are right within three months of growing the the leaves can be picked, dried and smoked."

Two years ago a kindergarten foreign instructor was caught in Yongin when he smoked marijuana and taught class while high.

In the last three years 1000 or more foreign drug criminals have been caught by police and [the number] is steadily increasing every year.

Drug enforcement by customs also [found that] 20% of the total [caught] is smuggling by foreigners.

As the popularity of native speaking instructors accompanying [Korea's] English fever rises. their crimes tend to rise as well.

In fact, in 2014 it came out that one in five drug smugglers were native speaking instructors.

Much concern is being voiced that there may be so-called secondary crimes due to students learning English from native speaking instructors being exposed to drugs.
Yes, because people who pay inflated prices for pot are going to share it with their students, the same way Korean teachers hand out their imported scotch to students under their care. Ridiculous, as always.

If we look at Immigration statistics from December 2015 (download #3), we see that the number of E-2 visa holders has dropped to 16,144, down from the all-time high of 24,107 in February 2011 (when incoming and outgoing public school teachers overlapped), suggesting rather strongly that the "popularity of native speaking instructors" is not rising at all.

You do have to love the images in the report, however; scaremongering at its best!


"My teacher is blurry and made of syringes!" 

The above image purports to show the increase in foreign drug criminals. The problem is, they don't relate at all to the Supreme Prosecutor's Office's statistics, which are higher. I've posted about Supreme Prosecutor's Office reports on annual drug arrests in the past, such as in 20112012 and 2013. The Office publishes statistics monthly here; the year end report for 2013 is here, for 2014, here, and for 2015, here.

To add to this chart, the total number of arrests for foreigners for drug crimes in 2014 was 551, and in 2015, 640. The total number of people arrested in Korea was 9,984 in 2014 and 11,916 in 2015.

Here is a breakdown of arrests by nationality for 2015:

China, 314
Thailand, 122
USA, 53
Uzbekistan, 17
Vietnam, 23
Sri Lanka 13
Canada, 11
Kazakhstan, 8
Philippines, 8
Russia, 7
India, 7
Taiwan, 6

While we're on the topic of these busts in Busan, there was another pot bust there reported on January 19 which involved smuggling pot inside "popular foreign chocolate" by mailing it from New York, where a Korean guy in his mid 20s had bought 20 grams for $200 from a Mexican and mailed a gram each sealed inside the chocolate, selling 10 of them for 100,000 won a piece before being busted.

Perhaps the dog found them.