TV Chosun has reported that the police have received a testimony from a source at the club Burning Sun that stated that Seungri took drugs.
The outlet reports that Seungri was privately summoned for questioning regarding this on March 18.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s metropolitan investigation unit has begun an investigation on whether or not the testimony is factual.
TV Chosun describes that the police sees the testimony as credible. However, as it lacks concrete details about time and location, they are having trouble confirming it.
Seungri has denied allegations of drug use and a drug test that he took when he voluntarily submitted himself for examination on February 27 came out negative. With the addition of this testimony, it appears that the investigation into allegations of drug use is resuming. The police plans to continue to question Seungri.
On March 19, Seungri spoke up about recent controversies and denied allegations of providing prostitution services and traveling overseas to gamble.
Park Han Byul to attend police questioning amidst investigations of her husband and more
The actress’s husband, former CEO Yoo In Suk of Yuri Holdings, began to make headlines when it was revealed that he was Seungri’s business partner and a participant in group chatrooms where there was talk of offering sexual services to foreign investors as well as sharing of illegal hidden camera footage and photos of women.
Yoo In Suk was investigated by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency and some people requested for Park Han Byul’s departure from the MBC drama “Love in Sadness.” In response, her agency stated that she was planning to film the remainder of the drama.
It was then reported that Park Han Byul was also acquainted with Senior Superintendent Yoon who is being suspected of misusing his authority to help cover up criminal activities mentioned in the group chatroom.
In response, the actress released a statement apologizing for the recent controversy involving her husband and said that she would continue to film the drama in order to fulfill the promise she made with the staff, agency, and network.
On March 19, a source from her agency Fly Up Entertainment stated, “Park Han Byul will soon attend police questioning. The specific date of her appearance has not yet been decided.”
Senior Superintendent Yoon is under suspicion of helping Yoo In Suk and Seungri with work related to their bar Monkey Museum. He was charged with leaking official confidential information for ordering his subordinate and person in charge of the case at the time to secretly look into the police crackdown. During his questioning, he confirmed that he is an acquaintance of Yoo In Suk and a member of the group chatroom, but denied the accusations of misusing his position to cover up crimes.
Seungri revealed to have known about minor entering Burning Sun + talked about paying off police for business violations
On March 19, MBC’s “Newsdesk” revealed that it obtained phone conversations about the entry of a minor into Burning Sun that happened in July 2018.
According to the report, the mother of a student called the police saying that her son, who was a minor born in January 2000, had entered Burning Sun in the early morning of July 7. Burning Sun was facing the threat of suspension of business. The case was forwarded to the prosecutor’s office with the suggestion of non-indictment about a month later.
The police who arrived at the club did not investigate the student who had entered Burning Sun, and the case was closed due to lack of evidence. MBC reports that in order to cover up this incident, Burning Sun CEO Lee Sung Hyun paid former police officer Kang 20 million won (approximately $17,704) with police currently investigating suspicions that part of this money was sent to the team in charge of investigating the case.
About three months later in early November of 2018, a phone conversation took place between Burning Sun CEO Lee Sung Hyun and Mr. Lee who delivered the money.
In the recording of the phone call, Mr. Lee said, “While drinking soju, talks about [redacted] Hotel came up and the club…” and CEO Lee Sung Hyun continued, “It seems someone directly contacted Seungri.” Mr. Lee said, “Since the person directly involved in the report is Seungri, he probably knew.” Lee Sung Hyun said “Yeah, [Seungri] was contacted about two times,” confirming that Seungri was informed about the entry of the underage customer into the club.
Regarding this, a source from Seungri’s legal representative said, “Seungri heard that something like this had happened after the incident had occurred. Lee Sung Hyun and Seungri are not in a relationship where they report to each other.” “Newsdesk” stated that the police is analyzing the phone call recording and investigating Seungri under suspicions of interfering with the case of entry of a minor.
On the same day, SBS’s “8 O’Clock News” shed light on suspicions about illegal business practices of Seungri’s other club Monkey Museum which he operated before Burning Sun.
Seungri had registered Monkey Museum as a retailer and not as a drinking establishment at the borough office. At the time of the opening of Monkey Museum, a conversation took place in the KakaoTalk group chatroom amongst Seungri and his acquaintances.
Mr. Kim said, “It’s illegal to having dancing or a stage, but you’re good at working flexibly,” and Mr. Park added, “It’s illegal, but it’s hard to impose sanctions against it, so everyone’s just staying silent.” Seungri then responded, “It means that we don’t really have a problem. If they crack down, we’ll slip them some money.”
Opening a bar in that space was prohibited because Monkey Museum was located in a residential area. Seungri, however, carried out his business with illegal practices and recorded sales of 500 million won (approximately $442,460) on opening day.
Despite its illegal operations, Monkey Museum bypassed the crackdown of the borough office. From March 2016 to August 2018, it was penalized once for business violations with a fine of 40 million won (approximately $35,372). It received light punishments for violations of the Food Sanitation Act where employees failed to undergo health screenings and for the lack of price indications.
SBS also pointed out that despite the fact that videos of people dancing on stage at Monkey Museum had circulated online, the police had failed to properly crack down on the violations.
Burning Sun employee “Anna” tests positive for multiple drugs
On March 19, MBC’s “Newsdesk” reported news on the woman known as “Anna,” an MD (merchandiser, also known as promoter) at the club Burning Sun.
Anna, who is a Chinese woman, was interrogated by the police under suspicion of selling drugs to VIP clients at Burning Sun.
She previously shared a photo with Seungri on social media, but Seungri stated that he doesn’t know who she is and said he took a photo with her at the club at her request. Anna is also one of the women who sued Kim Sang Kyo, the man who first put Burning Sun in the public eye with accusations of assault in February, for sexual harassment.
According to MBC, Anna’s hair and urine were tested for drugs by the National Forensic Service on March 16 during the first round of investigations, and the results from her hair came back positive for methamphetamine, ecstasy, opium, marijuana, and ketamine.
Anna was caught for use of ecstasy and ketamine in September 2018, but the test results showed different drugs this time. She will go through the second round of questioning where the police will investigate from whom and how she obtained the drugs.
During an interview with KBS, Anna said, “The fluid that was seized is eye drops for my cat because I have a cat. The white powder [taken by the police] is laundry detergent.” When asked if she has ever sold drugs, she denied the accusations.
Former employees of Burning Sun have been testifying that Anna distributed drugs to Chinese VIP customers. MBC News asked a customer if it was known that Anna distributed drugs to other Chinese customers, the customer replied, “Everyone knew. They share information like who can supply the drugs amongst each other.”
The police are investigating the truth and scale of the Chinese customers who received and used drugs from Anna, and if Burning Sun employees knew about the suspicion of drug distribution to Chinese customers.
The police revealed that the probability of an arrest without warrant is low since Anna made two voluntary appearances, but that the possibility of an application for an arrest warrant can’t be ruled out.
Arrest warrant for Burning Sun CEO Lee Moon Ho rejected
The arrest warrant for Burning Sun CEO Lee Moon Ho has been rejected.
On March 19, chief judge Shin Jong Yeol of the Seoul Central District Court questioned Lee Moon Ho to determine the validity of a warrant, ultimately reaching the decision to reject the warrant request.
Judge Shin Jong Yeol said, “There’s room for argument about the criminal charges of drug use and possession. It’s difficult to recognize the need and reasonability for the suspect’s arrest considering the collection of evidence, the suspects’ whereabouts and potential for severed contact, the suspect’s attitude towards the investigations, his criminal history related to drugs, and the connections between the adult entertainment establishment and the police.”
On the previous day, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency’s regional investigation unit requested an arrest warrant for Lee Moon Ho under suspicions of violations of the Drug Control Law. The police interrogated Lee Moon Ho from March 4 to 5 about the distribution and use of drugs inside of the club.
Lee Moon Ho denied the accusations, but tested positive for drugs according to results by the National Forensic Service. The police then changed Lee Moon Ho’s status to a suspect and made moves to take him into custody. The court’s decision to reject the warrant request, however, has put a brake on the initial police plans to secure him and investigate the organized drug distribution inside of Burning Sun.
So far, police have booked 40 people for drug-related charges, including 14 who used or distributed drugs at Burning Sun. Three of these 14 worked at the club as MDs (merchandisers or promoters).
Seventeen people were booked from other clubs, and nine others were charged with distributing the date rape drug Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate (GBH). This also includes the Chinese Burning Sun employee Anna, who was suspected of dealing drugs at Burning Sun.
Choi Jong Hoon may serve prison sentence of up to 3 years
In a report on the “Burning Sun Gate” controversy, the March 19 broadcast of SBS’s “Night of Real Entertainment” talked about the potential prison sentence that Choi Jong Hoon could receive.
The former FTISLAND member is currently under investigation for sharing illegal hidden camera footage of sexual acts as well as using connections to cover up a drunk driving incident from 2016. Choi Jong Hoon has admitted to driving drunk, although he denies having solicited a cover-up.
With regards to the footage, lawyer Kim Young Joo spoke to SBS and said, “In the case of Yong Junhyung and Lee Jong Hyun, neither of them personally filmed or distributed the footage, so they will not be subject to penalties.” The lawyer went on to explain that the sharing the footage is punishable by up to three years in prison, and if it turns out that Choi Jong Hoon also took footage himself, it will be punishable by up to five years.
Seungri’s military enlistment officially postponed
The Military Manpower Administration has confirmed the delay of Seungri’s military enlistment.
Previously, Seungri submitted an official request on March 18.
On March 20, the following official statement was released:
Regarding the request by singer Seungri (Lee Seung Hyun) to delay his military enlistment date, the Military Manpower Administration (Commissioner Ki Chan Soo) has decided on the delay due to the following reasons.
– The person liable for military service requested the enlistment delay to participate in his investigation
– The investigative authorities requested to the Military Manpower Administration for the enlistment to be delayed in order to investigate the person liable for military service thoroughly and consistently
– Therefore, the active duty enlistment date was delayed based on Article 61 of the Military Service Act and Article 129 of the Enforcement Decree for this act.
Once the postponement period for his military enlistment expires, the status of his enlistment and postponement will be decided again based on regulations of the Military Service Act.
– Article 60 of the Military Service Act and Article 128 of the Enforcement Decree for this act: Enlistment postponed if imprisoned
– Article 61 of the Military Service Act and Article 129 of the Enforcement Decree for this act: Other unavoidable reasons
The Military Manpower Administration plans on amending the law so that a person liable for military service can have his enlistment delayed by the authority of the Military Manpower Administration if the person liable is enlisting as an escape after causing a societal disturbance or if there is a request by investigative authorities for any other important investigations.
Sources: Naver (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) via Soompi (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)