Dark web drug squad is initiated by Korean law enforcement

By Dain Oh, The Readable
Oct. 20, 2022 7:32PM KST

As drug trafficking is rising as a nationwide problem, South Korean prosecutors will form a drug squad which will specifically monitor the dark web and its illegal drug trade, reported local news outlets referring to an official document submitted by the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office on Thursday.

According to the reports, the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office plans to launch a dedicated team of 15 personnel in three different regions in order to restrain drug trafficking which allegedly occurs through the dark web. The team will be installed in the District Prosecutors’ Office of each region, including Seoul, Incheon, and Busan, as early as January 2023. These regions are the gateways to South Korea since they have international airports and harbors.

The drug squad on the dark web will reportedly focus on analyzing internet search records and IP addresses, in addition to tracking cryptocurrency.

There are estimated to be 250,000 South Korean daily users of the dark web. The Korean prosecutors believe a great number of the users access the dark web for unlawful purposes, such as buying drugs. Last year, Korean law enforcement seized 1295.7kg (2856.5lbs) of drugs, which was an increase of eight times, compared to 2017.

“If our nation does not start a war on drugs immediately, we will soon be dominated by drugs,” Yoo Sang-bum, a member of the South Korean National Assembly’s legislation and judiciary committee, told a local reporter, elaborating on the document.


The cover image of this article was designed by Areum Hwang.

Dain Oh is an award-winning cybersecurity journalist based in South Korea and the founding editor-in-chief of The Readable by S2W. Before joining S2W, she worked as a reporter for The Electronic Times, the top IT newspaper in Korea, covering the cybersecurity industry on an in-depth level. She reported numerous exclusive stories, and her work related to the National Intelligence Service led to her being honored with the Journalist of the Year Award in 2021 by the Korea Institute of Information Security and Cryptology in a unanimous decision. She was also the first journalist to report on the hacking of vulnerable wallpads in South Korean apartments, which later became a nation-wide issue.