South Korean prosecutors seek arrest warrant for former BigBang singer Seungri

Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said on Jan 10, 2020, that it is seeking an arrest warrant for ex-BigBang member Seungri over charges of procuring prostitutes and gambling. PHOTO: REUTERS

Seungri is not off the hook.

A judge turned down a request from prosecutors in May 2019 to detain the former BigBang singer, but the authorities have filed for an arrest warrant again.

According to KBS World Radio, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office said on Friday (Jan 10) that it is seeking the warrant over charges of procuring prostitutes and gambling.

Seungri, 29, is accused of gambling multiple times in Las Vegas over a period of more than three years from December 2013.

He is also said to have arranged sexual services for investors from Japan - on 29 occasions - from September 2015 to January 2016.

Korean media outlets reported last year that Seungri had incurred gambling losses amounting to more than US$1 million (S$1.35 million).

A court hearing will be held on Monday (Jan 13) to decide if the prosecutors can get their way this time round.

Seungri is among several high-profile artists who were swept up by a damaging K-pop scandal which broke early last year.

Singers Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon have been given six-year and five-year jail terms respectively for gang-raping, among other offences.

Amid the bad press, BigBang fans had wondered if the boyband would make a comeback after the other four members completed their military duty last year.

Their fears receded after news came over the weekend that BigBang would be performing at the prestigious Coachella festival in California in April.

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