South Korea On Alert As Mysterious Postal Packages From Taiwan Turn Up All Across The Country

The authorities are still investigating.

On July 21, Friday, 4:40 pm, KST, a suspicious package was delivered to Post Korea in Myeongdong, Seoul. Some 1,700 people had to evacuate the premises after the parcel’s discovery. According to fire authorities, the “yellow package” was from Taiwan. This was one of the hundreds of similar reports from all across South Korea.

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On July 22, KST, South Korean police told the media that they have been constantly receiving reports about suspicious international packages at random places in the country for two consecutive days. There are rising concerns nationwide that these parcels might contain unspecified, hazardous material.

According to reports, on Friday alone, police received around 987 reports about the delivery of suspicious packages from abroad, mainly from Taiwan. Local government authorities have sent out an emergency alert to citizens, instructing them not to open parcels if the sender’s identity is unclear. They also advised people to report such packages to the police or firefighters.

Reports of strange international parcels started arriving from the city of Ulsan on Thursday, July 20. The first report was from a welfare center for the disabled, where a random package from Taiwan was delivered that day. Three people working at the facility were hospitalized after unpacking it, as they suffered dizziness and difficulty breathing.

A package from Taiwan found in Daejeon | Yonhap
| Yonhap

Police initially suspected that toxic gas from the parcel might have triggered such reactions. But the state-run defense research agency ran tests on the package and couldn’t detect any hazardous material. In most other parcels, officials found cheap products like lip balm. Some even turned out to be empty.

As more reports continue pouring in, police are investigating the possibility of a “brushing scam,” where online sellers send unordered products to individuals after acquiring their personal data illegally. This tactic usually boosts sales and manipulates sellers’ ratings on online sites.

Authorities have asked citizens to stay vigilant against suspicious packages from overseas, especially the ones that are yellow or black. The public has been told to be on the lookout for packages that might have “CHUNGHWA POST” written on them. The possible sender is described to be P.O. Box 100561-003777, Taipei, Taiwan.

This photo provided by the local fire department shows a package from Taiwan delivered to a home in Incheon, 27 kilometers southwest of Seoul on Friday | Yonhap

The Taipei Mission in South Korea reported that such packages were initially sent from China, and after a stopover in Taiwan, they arrived in South Korea. Taiwan’s customs agency is also probing into the delivery route of the packages, and the mission said that it had shared the findings of the investigation with the South Korean police and other relevant agencies.

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