BEIJING: Fourteen Koreans were arrested in China on charges of drug smuggling. A Foreign Ministry official here said that they were nabbed on their way out of China via Guangzhou International Airport.
The official said Seoul will offer them consular assistance. The Korean Consulate in Guangzhou asked Chinese authorities for a chance to interview the suspects as soon as possible and is trying to find out what happened.
The Koreans were baseball supporters who went to Australia for a match and were reportedly caught on an aircraft carrying 20 kg of illegal drugs hidden inside souvenirs.
Smuggling, selling, transporting or producing at least 1 kg of opium or at least 50 g of methamphetamines or heroin carries the death penalty in China. Three Koreans were executed in China in August after being found guilty of smuggling drugs, while a Briton and a Japanese citizen were also put to death there.