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. t3chn0ph0b3


    May 7, 2012 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    All the street drugs in the U.S. and the users, have no ideal of what they're using.

    May 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Aubrie

    I think I'm going to be sick....

    May 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. David

    China. Again.

    May 7, 2012 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • shootmyownfood

      No demand, no supply. Blame the Koreans.

      May 7, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. coady68

    Reblogged this on Coady68's Blog and commented:
    Nothing surprises me anymore !

    May 7, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sherri Martin

    This entire world is going to hell and good riddance to all of us! Wow.

    May 7, 2012 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    What else are you gonna do with a dead baby? They're even more useless than the live ones.

    May 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Frank

    "I would love to stay, but I have my grandchild for dinner..."

    May 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. JDOGGG81

    so sad to see that the asian customs are so far off from normal.

    May 7, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kelly

      DO PEOPLE NOT UNDERSTAND that the Koreans DIDNT KNOW THE PILLS HAD BABIES IN IT. South Korea is a advanced developed country, they don't eat babies. The customers sought after the pills as seen on a website, although sketchy it looked like legit vitamin website. CNN always fails to mention these things. Why are we not praising The Koreans for seizing this case since it should be the Chinese who care to do so? We all wouldve bought the pills too if we had interest in it, its the Chinese that make South Korea and rest of Asia look bad

      May 7, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Diamond Dave

    The chinaman is still, and will always be, the most backwards people on the planet. It doesn't matter if you host the Olympics, or send a capsule into space; the chinaman still cannot hide the fact that he is closer to the cro-magnon than to modern humans

    May 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • shootmyownfood

      Talk about uniformed, as well as extremely poor reading comprehension. The Chinese are supplying a demand FROM KOREANS. No demand, no supply. Get it?

      May 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Diamond Dave, your pathetic comments filled with bigotry disgust me and make me want to throw up. If there is anyone that is backwards, it is you. Just because a few criminals in a nations of more than a billion people try to make a few bucks selling dead babies does nothing to show that all Chinese are backwards.

      May 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. lol

    Do they come in chewables?

    May 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mike Tyson

    I'm the best ever. I'm the most brutal and vicious, the most ruthless champion there's ever been. There's no one can stop me. Lennox is a conquerer? No, I'm Alexander, he's no Alexander. I'm the best ever! There's never been anybody as ruthless! I'm Sonny Liston, I'm Jack Dempsey. There's no one like me. I'm from their cloth. There is no one who can match me. My style is impetuous, my defense is impregnable, and I'm just ferocious. I want your heart! I want to eat your children! Praise be to Allah!

    May 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. truth

    4 words come to mind: Great White Throne Judgment

    May 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeffrey Dahmer's downstairs neighbor

    I've seen worse.

    May 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DK

    I say don't waste our time and money on this stuff. If people want to take these pills let them. If they die, they were stupid people anyhow. We have enough stupid people.

    May 7, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
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