A police task force team has been created to re-investigate a case involving former iKON member B.I (real name Kim Han Bin) and his alleged purchase and use of illegal drugs. The task force team was formed in response to accusations that the investigation that was conducted in 2016 was done poorly. The public is waiting to see if YG founder Yang Hyun Suk, who recently stepped down from his post at the company, will also be called in for questioning following suspicions that he had intervened in the investigation at the time.
The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency, who handled the investigation of B.I’s alleged drug purchase and use in 2016, stated on June 14 that they would “carry out a strict investigation into B.I’s drug-related suspicions, in addition to whether or not YG Entertainment applied external pressure and colluded with the police.” The agency added, “According to the circumstances of the investigation, we will assemble additional personnel from a regional investigation unit or the Intellectual Crimes Unit and conduct a thorough investigation.”
The police also left open the possibility of questioning Yang Hyun Suk, if deemed necessary for the investigation.
B.I’s drug-related suspicions started to arise on June 12 after online entertainment media outlet Dispatch revealed a KakaoTalk conversation suggesting that B.I was attempting to purchase illegal drugs. The conversation in question shows B.I asking an individual referred to as “A” to purchase drugs on his behalf. “A” was arrested without a warrant in August of 2016 by the Yongin Dongbu Police Station on suspicion of marijuana use. Although B.I’s name was brought up during the investigation at the time, he was never called in to be questioned by the police. Stories about Yang Hyun Suk allegedly intervening with the police investigation emerged from the fact that B.I was never investigated. Recent reports stated that an anonymous document was submitted to the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission regarding YG’s alleged attempt to cover up the case. “A” was the whistleblower.
“A” revealed through their legal representative, attorney Bang Jung Hyun, that “Yang Hyun Suk called [A] to the YG offices and threatened [them] by saying, ‘I can easily put you at a disadvantage.’” Although YG denied such allegations, a police investigation appears to be inevitable given the discrepancies between the claims made by both sides.
In the midst of all the controversy, Yang Hyun Suk made the decision to resign from YG Entertainment on June 14. He stated, “Although I’ve been patiently enduring the unmentionable and disgraceful stories that have been going around and being told indiscriminately as if they were the truth, I think it will be difficult to continue doing so. I sincerely hope that no further harm is done due to me.” He added, “I believe that the truth behind the current media reports and malicious gossip will be revealed through the investigations.”
Translated by Jennifer Earwood