- 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.
Dead baby pills: Customs officials in South Korea have discovered thousands of capsules filled with powdered human flesh
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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES IN CHINESE MEDICINES
Chinese alternative medicines contain traces of endangered species, a study has found.
Many of the remedies are more than 2,000 years old - and claim to be alternative methods for curing disease.
The use of rhino horns in Chinese medicines has been widely criticised.
Despite the claims the 'cures' can treat everything from broken bones to headaches, there is limited proof they actually work.
A team of Australian scientists discovered that some of the medicines contained traces of black bears and antelope.
The Murdoch University team used DNA sequencing to work out what the plants and animal ingredients are.
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.
Smuggling: More than 17,000 capsules disguised as 'stamina boosters' have been intercepted as they were smuggled into South Korea last year (file photo of Seoul airport)
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.