By Richard Shears and Rob Cooper | Daily Mail | May 7, 2012
- More than 17,000 pills smuggled into country have been intercepted since last August
- Pills viewed as a 'miracle cure' for all ailments - but unsurprisingly they are harmful
Thousands of capsules filled with powdered human flesh have been discovered by customs officials in South Korea, it was revealed today.
The are believed to have emanated from China and it looks as though the bodies of dead babies have been chopped into tiny pieces which were then dried in ovens before being pummelled into powder.
The gruesome series of discoveries since last August has shocked even hardened customs agents who have pledged to strengthen inspections.
The capsules are in demand in China because they are viewed as being medicinal - a cure-all for ailments.
Chinese officials are understood to have been aware of the trade and have tried to stop the capsules being exported but thousands of packets of them have been smuggled through to South Korea.
There is a huge demand for alternative Chinese remedies - which include ground up rhino horns.
The Chinese have historically consumed human placentas to improve blood supply and circulation.
The South Korean Customs Service said today that it had heightened its searches of suspicious packages being brought into the country by travellers from China in an attempt to stamp out the sickening trade.
According to customs agents, 35 smuggling attempts have been made since August last year involving more than 17,000 capsules disguised as 'stamina boosters'.
Hospitals and abortion clinics in China reportedly pass the remains onto drugs companies when a baby is stillborn or aborted, the South Korean SBS documentary team reported last year.
The San Francisco Times reported that tests carried out on the pills confirmed they were made up of 99.7 per cent human remains.
The tests were successfully able to establish the genders of the babies used.
There is a huge demand for the pills which are thought to enhance stamina. Microwave-dried placenta is also sought after for its alleged 'medicinal' benefits.
However, in reality the human flesh capsules contain super-bacteria and other harmful ingredients.
A number of smugglers who have been detained by the South Korean authorities have claimed they did not know what the ingredients were or the manufacturing process behind them.
'Ethnic Koreans from north-east China who now live in South Korea are those who were mostly intending to use the capsules or share them with other Korean-Chinese' said a customs official.
'They are normally brought into South Korea in luggage or posted by international mail.'
Chinese newspapers have identified the north eastern provinces as the source of the human flesh capsules, in particular the Jilin region which is close to North Korea.