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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, March 25 (Yonhap) --The number foreign criminal suspects arrested in South Korea nearly doubled in the 2007-2011 period, a government report showed Monday.

The number of foreigners apprehended as a suspect in a criminal case increased from 14,524 in 2007 to 27,144 in 2011, while the number of Korean criminal suspects decreased from 2.11 million to 1.87 million in the same period, according to the report released by the state-run Korean Institute of Criminology.

Accordingly, the share of crimes committed by foreigners increased from 0.7 percent to 1.4 percent in the same period, the report showed.

The ratio of foreign criminal suspects with a previous criminal record also jumped from 4 percent to 11 percent in the cited period, the report said, indicating a surge in the number of repeat offenders.

In 2011, two Koreans per 100,000 were apprehended for murder while 11 foreigners per 100,000 were arrested for the same charge, the report showed.

"The crime rate by foreigners in murder, robbery and drug-related crimes has reached a dangerous level," Choi Young-shin who led the study said.

By nationality, a total of 7,064 Mongolians were arrested per every 100,000 registered foreigners as criminal suspects in 2011, followed by 4,124 Canadians, 3,785 Russians and 3,634 Thais. A total of 6,756 Americans, excluding U.S. soldiers and their families, were apprehended per 100,000 foreigners here, the report said.

The crime rate by illegal immigrants was relatively low, the report showed.

According to the report, 21 percent of foreigners in the country were illegal immigrants, while 13.5 percent of foreign criminal suspects were illegal immigrants in 2007. In 2011, 12 percent of foreigners were illegal immigrants, while only 5.7 percent of foreign criminal suspects were illegal immigrants.

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