SEOUL — Two U.S. Army criminal investigative agents received awards Friday from the director general of Seoul’s Main Customs Office, who praised them for helping thwart black marketers.

Sohn Jung-joon presented the awards to Warrant Officer Unsil Lee and civilian special agent Yun Haeng-suk, both with Camp Red Cloud’s CID detachment. The awards marked the first time U.S. Army members were recognized during the South Korean customs office’s annual year-end ceremony.

Kim Jong-mu, a senior investigator with the Status of Forces Agreement office at Seoul Customs, said the women helped bring U.S. and South Korean investigators together for the first time.

“Their full cooperation has lead to successful investigations with us to reduce black marketing,” Kim said of the two investigators.

Lt. Col. Jan F. Apo, commander of the 19th Military Police Battalion (CID), said the awards were great.

“We’ve worked very hard at trying to increase our cooperation” with South Korean customs officials, she said. The U.S. command is working to crack down on black marketing and because typical cases cross both U.S. and South Korean jurisdictions, Apo said, the relationship between U.S. and South Korean enforcement personnel is key.

Lee, a special agent, said she felt honored by the award. Yun, a criminal investigator, said she “didn’t expect this at all.”

Hwang Hae-rym contributed to this report.

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