Korea was a drug-free country? Not anymore!

Various cases where you can be at risk for drug and sex offenses Why Dong Gwang stands out 지윤석 기자l승인2023.12.15l수정2023.12.19 16:58

크게

작게

메일

인쇄

신고

   
 

We can all agree that South Korea's title as a drug-free country is a distant memory. The United Nations considers a country to be a drug-free zone if it has fewer than 20 drug users per 100,000 people. In 2016, South Korea had 25.6 drug offenders, but last year it surpassed 10,000, meaning it is rapidly becoming a drug emerging country. This can be easily felt just by looking at the recent suspicions of celebrity drug use. Worse still, it's a serious matter that drugs are being used to commit sex crimes, especially those involving the use of cameras that can be subject to the Rape and Sexual Assault Act. The Burning Sun case, which made headlines a few years ago, is virtually replaying itself. Exactly one year ago, Dong Gwang, a law firm standing out in defending sex crimes, established a new drug team to specialize in the growing number of sex crime drug cases. Many people think that drug offenses are punished lightly, but in fact, drug crimes are strictly punished and even first-time offenders can be sentenced to prison. If a person is convicted of a sex offense with a severe penalty and sentenced to imprisonment, it is obvious that he or she cannot escape from social constraints and needs an active legal response.

 

Drug offenses don’t get off easy

In Korea, the manufacture and sale of narcotics or psychotropic drugs is punishable by imprisonment for life or more than 5 years, and the possession and use of psychotropic drugs and the manufacture and sale of marijuana are punishable by imprisonment of more than 1 year. Those who use philopon or poppy are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine of up to 100 million won. Drug offenses have a higher recidivism rate than other criminal offenses and are more likely to lead to secondary offenses, making it difficult to get deferred prosecution. In other words, if you get caught up in an unexpected drug offense, you can’t expect to get off scot-free. 

 

Serious adolescent drug addiction

Worse still, the age of drug users is getting younger. One in three drug traffickers are in their teens or 20s, with the number exceeding 20,000 this year alone, a record high. This is due to the shift from clandestine offline transactions to more accessible transactions via Telegram, the dark web, and Twitter, etc. Drugs that have spread among teens include fentanyl, which was popular among hip-hop rappers, diethamine, a narcotic edible depressant, and ecstasy. The team said “Teenage drug offenders are physically and mentally immature and easily addicted to drugs, so if they don’t get clean in time, they will often seek stronger drugs as adults and end up in prison due to high recidivism rates. If you are a juvenile offender under the age of 19, you can receive protective treatment if you are sent to a juvenile case, but if you commit a serious crime such as distribution, you cannot escape serious criminal punishment, so it is recommended to seek the assistance of a professional lawyer. In addition, while strict punishment is important for crime prevention, it is also necessary to educate and publicize about the criminal penalties.”

 

Significant increase in drug-related sex crimes

Treatment for victims must be provided in parallel

Among the large-scale increase in drug smuggling, what is noteworthy is that GHB smuggling increased by more than 61 times. GHB is a representative sex crime drug. Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases where Dong Gwang is requested for evaluation due to suspicion of drug-induced sex crimes. The sex crimes were committed after causing unconsciousness by administering GHB in a drinking glass. Sexual crimes using drugs have become a problem around the world, and in the United States, a federal law has been introduced to prohibit them, and drugs used for sexual crimes are separately designated and managed in a special manner. Dong Gwang explains “In addition to GHB, drugs used in sexual crimes include zolpidem, ketamine, and rohypnol. Victims who take these drugs can talk and move, but because they suffer from blackouts, they cannot remember the time of the crime. Therefore, if the scene of the victim walking or moving voluntarily while incapacitated by drugs is captured on CCTV, it may be considered as sexual intercourse with consent, and the crime of rape may not be established. Additionally, since the administered drugs are excreted within 12 to 24 hours, it cannot be proven that the person was taking drugs at the time of the crime.” In reality, sexual crimes using drugs consist of two acts. It is an act of administering drugs without consent and committing adultery with a victim who has become helpless. Surprisingly, there are no regulations punishing the act of forcibly administering medication against the victim’s will. Dong Gwang says “Making a person unconscious by using drugs is considered assault and intimidation, so in this case, it is not quasi-rape, but rather rape, which is using tangible force to commit adultery. However, most of the drugs’ ingredients are central nervous system depressants that have sedative effects. When administered with alcohol, it has a synergistic effect and the sedative effect becomes stronger, which can lead to fatal effects. In a case where a person was raped by taking the psychotropic drug zolpidem, the Supreme Court recognized the crime of rape and causing bodily harm, claiming that the drug adversely affected her health and damaged her physiological functions.

 

What about the propofol dose that says it’s okay because it’s medical?

Sexual activity similar to propofol administration

When it comes to drug cases, propofol is a staple. It’s often reported in the media, but many people don’t know if it’s a drug or if it’s a punishable offense. The team said “Propofol is a psychoactive sleeping anesthetic, which is an injectable solution of a white or nearly white emulsion in a colorless clear glass vial, also known as a milk injection. It is a medication used by doctors for minor procedures in plastic surgery and dermatology, or by prescription for sleep endoscopy. Propofol is widely used as an ambulatory anesthetic because it has a very short onset and recovery time and does not cause nausea and vomiting, which are side effects of conventional anesthetics. Upon awakening, however, it has been abused because it can cause a great sense of relief and euphoria, which can lead to psychological dependence. As a result, patients who have taken it have died or become addicted to it at great expense, and it was designated as a psychotropic drug in the class of narcotics in 2011.” The problem is that the number of cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault of patients who have lost consciousness due to administration of propofol is increasing. Crimes that can be applied to this include quasi-forcible molestation and quasi-rape. Quasi-forcible molestation refers to committing an act of molestation by taking advantage of the victim’s mental and physical loss or inability to resist, and is punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years or a fine of up to 15 million won. The punishment is the same as forcible molestation. It is called ‘quasi’ forcible molestation in the sense that it is punished for doing so. Dong Gwang explains “If the suspect administers propofol to a patient from the beginning and decides to commit various acts of sexual violence, general charges of forcible molestation or rape will be applied. Both forcible molestation and rape have something in common: they are committed through assault or intimidation, and administering propofol to a patient can also be seen as an assault on the patient’s body. 

 

It also is a crime to buy narcotic appetite suppressants without knowing it

A driver in his 20s crashed into several cars while under the influence of an overdose of appetite suppressants. The appetite suppressant included phentermine, a psychotropic drug. The team said “Appetite suppressants, often referred to as ‘butterfly pills’ by dieters, contain diethamine, which is has side effects such as hallucinations and dependence. Despite the fact that these are psychoactive drugs that can only be taken with a doctor’s prescription, they are often easily prescribed and distributed, leading to addiction and drug cravings. Diethamine is a sympathomimetic drug, which means it stimulates the release of the hormone dopamine, and excessive dopamine release leads to side effects which can be especially severe in teenagers with weak liver and kidney detoxification.  That is why diethamine cannot be prescribed to people under the age of 16 and this is why diethamine is often bought and sold online by teenagers who want to lose weight, leading to unsupervised abuse. Diethamine is classified as a psychotropic drug under the Narcotic Substances Control Act and is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years or a fine of up to 50 million won.” The team added “Narcotics investigations are usually conducted through other drug offenders to obtain sufficient evidence of the crime, so you should refrain from responding hastily without preparation. If you are involved in a narcotics case, it is advisable to seek the help of a specialized lawyer from the beginning of the investigation, as narcotics cases are usually investigated in custody due to the seriousness of the crime and the risk of destruction of evidence, and the penalties are higher than other crimes.” 

 

▲ 민경철 대표변호사

Dong Gwang has solved numerous cases of drug and sex crimes that were unjustly involved, and won the grand prize in the sexual crime legal service category and the grand prize in the drug case legal service category for three consecutive years this year. The upcoming year 2024 is also expected to see intense investigations related to sex crimes and drugs as the drug trade becomes more active. Even if you're a first-time offender, it's important to get involved early in the investigation to identify drug offenses. This is a key point to remember for the general public who may be caught in an unexpected crime. Based on the &Customized DG Assistance System that incorporates various know-how based on actual cases, Law Offices of Dong Gwang has created numerous success stories with the perspective of drug investigation prosecutors and the customized response of a dedicated team. This is the essential reason why Dong Gwang must be with you in the midst of the disgrace of emerging drug and sex crimes.  


지윤석 기자  jsong_ps13@naver.com
<저작권자 © 월간파워코리아, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

지윤석 기자의 다른기사 보기
가장 많이 본 기사
여백
여백
신문사소개기사제보광고문의불편신고개인정보취급방침청소년보호정책이메일무단수집거부
㈜뉴스앤매거진 파워코리아 대표 백종원  |   서울특별시 광진구 중곡동 162-3번지 2층  |  대표전화 : 02-466-5085  |  팩스 : 02-444-0454
대표메일/제휴광고문의 : bridgekorea@naver.com  |  개인정보관리책임자 : 백종원(bridgekorea@naver.com)  |  사업자등록번호 : 591-87-01957
청소년보호책임자 : 백종원
Disclaimer: PowerKorea makes an article based on the information of products and/or services provided in paper and/or in interview by the company, the organization or the person that is solely responsible for the information.
Copyright © 2008 - 2024 월간파워코리아. All rights reserved.