May 7th, 2012
12:37 PM ET

Reports: South Korea clamps down on traffickers of 'human-flesh capsules'

South Korean customs officials said they are cracking down on an operation that is smuggling in pills from China made from the flesh of dead babies, according to Korean media reports.

Twenty-nine smugglers of "human-flesh capsules" have been arrested after trying to smuggle 11,000 pills into South Korea from China while disguised as tourists, according to The Korea Times.

“Some put herbs together in the capsules so that customs agents cannot distinguish the unique smell and color of the human-flesh capsules," a Korea Customs Service official told the newspaper. "Others put the capsules in medicine containers to deceive inspectors."

The pills, which are taken by people who believe they may help increase stamina, for rejuvenation or by terminal cancer patients, are made of powder made from dried fetuses or dead babies, the customs office told the Korea Times.

More than 35 cases and more than 17,000 pills have been found by customs authorities since August of last year, the South Korean website Dong-A Ilbo reported. 

South Korea's crackdown comes after a documentary called "Lee Yeong-don’s Food X File" aired in April 2011, describing the smuggling of the capsules as well as harmful effects of the pills. The documentary claimed that tests done in South Korea and by KCS showed that the content of the pills they received was "99.7 percent identical with humans," China Daily reported. 

The documentary team went to China, where they found and shot video of a hospital that sold materials, according to China Daily. Chinese officials said they have strict rules forbidding the sale of placentas or any medical waste.

The Ministry of Health began investigating the issue after the documentary.

"Since human flesh capsules are confirmed to contain ingredients lethal to humans, including super bacteria, we will preemptively curb their smuggling at borders to protect public health," a customs official told Dong-A Ilbo.

The website reported the capsules were being smuggled from northeastern China after requests from buyers in South Korea.

But now, Korean officials said, they will be putting in effect a significant number of measures to try to stem the smuggling of the pills.

Customs officials will be even more diligent in checking belongings of international travelers as well as global mail, Dong-A Ilbo reported. That includes opening packages and "checking all capsules and powder made from unknown substances" and labeled drugs that come from China.

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Filed under: China • Health • South Korea
soundoff (284 Responses)
  1. saywhat

    This is absolutely repulsive. Hope China itself cracks down on those who are in this horrible 'business'.

    May 7, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©

    I thought I've seen it all.
    Guess not!
    This has got to be the most repellant, disgusting thing I have ever seen.
    Where does it stop, for Christ's sake?
    What us WRONG with people that they would think this is perfectly acceptable?

    May 7, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  3. so not right

    I always knew ppl over there were weird but this is like an all time high. Ppl who make
    & take this stuff should be ashamed of themselves!

    May 7, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. @banasy

    Is it more disgusting than shaving your back hair?

    May 7, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • 2 @ banasy

      Is your mother still locking you in the closet for touching yourself while hanging around playgrounds?

      May 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  5. saywhat

    Exactly @ banasy. Good morning.
    We had heard of Rhino horns and tigers etc being killed for such stuff but this. Spolied my morning.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I guess the South Koreans could get smart, and sell back stamina capsules containing the c u m-of-sum-yung-cow.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike Jones

    those wacky Chinese, they'll eat anything!

    May 7, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. chrissy

    Good afternoon saywhat, banasy and troll philip! Yup its gross. Customs in china have always been bizarr to say the least, but this is absolutely disgusting!

    May 7, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chrissy

    Good afternoon to you also jeff.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. raven

    Can I get a double ick??

    May 7, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Double ick.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ThinkinForMe

    I'm going to be in a foul mood for at least the next hour over this. What kind of warped people some of us have to share this planet with!! HELP, you up there in the spaceship, HEEEEEEEELLLLPPPP!

    May 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  12. wes

    orientals have no souls, very godless

    May 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ely

    Chinese people will eat anything.. but this is way insane... bloody cannibals..

    May 7, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dwe

    Get over your superiority complex, ethnocentrism, and quit being so judgmental, Americans. Your way is not the only way. The french eat horse flesh, Asians dog meat (including Obama as a child in Indonesia), Congolese eat pygmies and albinos to ward off evil. As American power declines, you should accept being more tolerant of other cultures.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      If "accepting" other cultures means approving of this practice, count me the f out.
      it's called ethical behavior.
      This does not fall into that category.

      May 7, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simonds007

      If superiority complex includes not eating dead babies' remains then count me in.

      May 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rins

      People can debate the ethics of eating dogs and horses...but one thing is for certain:

      a non-cannibal > cannibal

      May 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Tolerant? Really? I'd say our "tolerance" has put us where we are today in a Nation of 50 languages, catering to muslims that want us all dead, killed thousands of our people in 9-11, barely any immigration policy, and millions upon millions of illegals here sucking up benefits and taking jobs Americans should/could have and our government does nothing but cater to them. I'd say we have been VERY tolerant. It's time to end the madness and take this Country back. Americans need to have tolerance, you have some nerve.

      May 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim Williams

      You're comparing eating dead baby flesh to eating horse meat and being accepting of other cultures, really?

      May 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • drinker75

      Um, no!

      May 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. missN

    erm, to the last post on this article; i don't think that the majority of people are up in arms about Asians. The whole "eating little babies" thing is the source of the consternation: it's vile.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
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