Busan man arrested for selling thousands of “Happy Balloons” online

by Busan Haps Magazine
Stripes Korea

A 25-year-old Busan man was arrested by the Yeonje Police after selling tens of thousands of “happy balloons” — a balloon filled with nitrous oxide.

The subject of happy balloons became a hot topic in Korea this past spring when bars in Gangnam and Hongdae were selling the laughing gas filled balloons from between 3,000 to 5,000 won.

The balloons filled with the laughing gas which have been banned in other countries for years were a big hit in the club scene around the country where people suck what is also known as “hippie crack” out of balloons and small canisters, often known as “whippets.”

After a 20-year-old man reportedly died in April from an apparent nitrous oxide overdose, the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Food and Drug Safety categorized nitrous oxide as a hallucinogenic substance in June.

The accused was caught with 4,023 nitrous oxide capsules, 232 injectors, and 557 balloons according to local media reports and was selling the balloons over the Internet.

He had apparently sold thousands of the happy balloons online amassing 55 million won in profit, while using a motorbike delivery service or quick service to reach his customers.

He is being held on suspicion of violating the Chemical Control Act and faces a possible 50 million won find and three years in prison.

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