SEOUL• Seungri (above), formerly of boy band BigBang, has been referred to prosecutors in the latest development in the Burning Sun probe, South Korean police said on Tuesday.
Burning Sun, a now-closed club in Gangnam, Seoul, is alleged to have been host to a range of criminal activities, including sex crimes, drug dealing and prostitution. The singer and entrepreneur was heavily involved in the club's management.
According to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, Seungri faces charges relating to embezzlement, destruction of evidence, violation of laws on sex trade, sexual crimes and food hygiene.
The singer is suspected of procuring prostitutes for personal and business acquaintances from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan from December 2015 to January 2016. He is also suspected of paying for sex himself.
Police added, however, they found no evidence of the procuring of prostitutes at his December 2017 birthday party in Palawan in the Philippines.
Seungri's business partner and former head of Yuri Holdings Yoo In-suk has also been referred to prosecutors for engaging in prostitution, along with 17 prostitutes who provided sex services.
Seungri allegedly embezzled approximately 1.1 billion won (S$1.29 million) from his businesses, according to police.
Another suspicion raised against the BigBang star is the circulation of spycam videos and other illicit sex videos filmed without consent in a group messenger chat, of which singers Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon were also members.
A senior police official, identified only by his surname Yoon, is also facing an investigation for tipping off Seungri and Yoo of impending police crackdowns. An inspector at the Gangnam Police Station was sent to prosecutors for allegedly being an accomplice in the abuse of official authority.
Seungri announced his retirement from the entertainment industry in March as allegations began to snowball concerning illicit activities surrounding his business operations.
Forty suspects have been referred to the prosecutors for investigations in a probe surrounding the Burning Sun scandal.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK