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. myob

    now we know why they are so adamant to mandate a family has only one baby – these weird women actually go to a home if they know a family is pregnant with a second child – they go there and try to coerce the mom into "not having the baby" – now it makes more "sense" because of what interest is it of those bitty old women anyway to tell them how many children to raise? gross!!!!

    May 7, 2012 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Lot of assuming it is women going in and persuading these women not to have babies...I'm going to make an assumption of my own: that it isn't women taking these capsules for "stamina".

      May 7, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Elliot

    So the real question the pills really work? Hahaha.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • jk

      As effective as mittens magic underwear

      May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Uhhh..

    It's not the koreans that are deliberately shipping human flesh. it's the chinese first of all. second, this is just disgusting and messed up.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Elliot

    How do you make a dead baby shake?.....Two scoops dead baby one scope ice cream.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dazzle ©

    This story is absolutely disgusting and sickens my heart to read this. I almost wish I didn't.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  6. skyle

    I want to know what the Asians are doing over there that requires so much "STAMINA?" Every time I read some loony article about Asian folk medicine, the first thing these cures are always listed as providing is more stamina... As far as I know, stamina is little red bar or globe used in video games to measure hit points; aside from that, stamina is a fictional stat. Does it help them plant, tend and harvest more rice? Is that even possible? The Asians are already working from sun-up to sun-down. What on Earth do they need more stamina for? If it's not dried, ground up tiger w@ngs, it's dead babies. Don't these people have the internet yet? If you need drugs, order them from Canada like a civilized addict.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CedarRapids

    Is this going to turn out to be a urban myth story like the jetpacks for NY cops story?

    May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jcrows

    How sick some of those Chinese are to make pills out of dead babies!

    May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      How sick is it that there is a market for dead baby pills. The law of supply and demand at work

      May 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  9. anna

    What can you expect from the Chinese????

    May 7, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Sakura2000

    What is wrong with the Chinese? bear gallbladders, rhino horns, tiger meat, and now babies? a whole nation with performance issues apparently.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ILOVETHE 80's

    And China is a ' most favorite trading status' with the USA. What will they NOT eat over there. For God sake people, take a break from the table once and awhile. You don't have to eat everything that is on this earth.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Heavyhand

    What's this CNN, human skin pills wasn't grabbing enough hits?
    Had to change the link on your main page to 'Dead Baby' pills instead?

    Such a sad decline over the last few years... when does CNN tabloid edition roll out?

    May 7, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DiScLWnCrAzY

    What is the worst part about killing a baby?
    Getting blood on your clown suit.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike in Pekin

    When I read things like this, I wonder if the world coming to an end would really be such a bad idea. I mean, really, dead baby flesh pills? You can blame the chinese, bu the only reason to smuggle them out of China is because of demand by customers in other countries. You know, as a species, human kind kinda sucks.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jk

    Atleast the Chinese have better ethics by eating dead babies rather than murdering live ones eveonthough I find it disgusting yet last year in Arizona Jan Brewer, a renowned 8th grade educated REPUBLICAN murdered 50000 babies by removing the only source of medical care they had.

    May 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
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