TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taiwanese man arrested in South Korea in May for suspected drug smuggling, has been sentenced in an Incheon Court to two years in jail, with a three year suspended sentence.
However, the 30 year old who thought he was smuggling methamphetamine into Korea, was actually carrying bags full of salt.
The man reported that he was hired to be a courier at Taipei’s Songshan Airport before boarding his flight. He was given six bags of what he presumed to be 2,475 grams of meth, according to the report.
Despite the fact that no drugs were discovered in the baggage or on his person at Incheon International Airport at the time of his arrest, the Incheon District Court decided to uphold the sentence because the man had clearly evidenced the intention to smuggle drugs into the country.
The Judge in the case was reported by local English language media the Korea Times as saying "Even if he did not smuggle methamphetamine, he would have," and that "the amount he smuggled is significant and could have caused great damage to society if it were the drug."
According to the report, the minimum penalty for those caught smuggling drugs into or out of South Korea is three years. Sentence lengths can increase depending on the circumstances of the case.
It is possible that the man’s sentence may still be appealed.
The court was lenient enough to give the Taiwanese man a three year suspension after which time it may be possible that the judge will dismiss the jail sentence. The report was unclear as to whether the man will be permitted to return to Taiwan during the period of suspension.