Capsules of powdered baby flesh seized in South Korea
South Korea has seized thousands of smuggled drug capsules filled with powdered flesh from dead babies, which some people believe can cure disease, officials said yesterday.
The capsules were made in northeastern China from babies whose bodies were chopped into small pieces and dried on stoves before being turned into powder, the Korea Customs Service said.
Customs officials refused to say where the dead babies came from or who made the capsules, citing possible diplomatic friction with Beijing.
Chinese officials ordered an investigation into the production of drugs made from dead foetuses or newborns last year.
The customs office had discovered 35 smuggling attempts since August of about 17,450 capsules disguised as stamina boosters, and some people believed them to be a panacea for disease, the customs service said. The capsules of human flesh, however, contained bacteria and other harmful ingredients.
The smugglers told customs officials they believed the capsules were ordinary stamina boosters and did not know the ingredients or manufacturing process.
The capsules were all confiscated but no one had been punished because the amount was deemed small and they weren't intended for sale, said a customs official.