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27 July


Uncovered corrupt ties between the police and the showbiz

Drug use, sexual abuse, prostitution - and this is not a complete list

Photo: Yonhap

/NOVOSTIVL/ Corrupt ties between police and show business are emerging, as the investigation is expanding into the alleged drug use, sexual violence, prostitution and sex video scandal involving several celebrities and a nightclub named Burning Sun. This article appeared in The Korea Times.

A police senior superintendent currently working at the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) headquarters, surnamed Yoon, admitted to his acquaintance with K-pop singer Seungri and Yu In-suk, a businessman who set up Yuri Holdings together with Seungri.

It was alleged that a ranking police official had their backs, as implied in some conversations in a group chat with Seungri, Yu and six others including singer Jung Joon-young.

In the conversations, Yu boasted of his connection with a ranking official, saying he helped cover up irregularities at a bar which Seungri, Yu and Jung co-operated in 2016.

Yu told police during Thursday's questioning that the official was senior superintendent Yoon, who was then superintendent at Gangnam Police Station in charge of supervising entertainment establishments in the posh southern Seoul area.

Yoon was questioned on Friday and admitted he had played golf and dined with Yu, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA), Saturday. Seungri also told police he dined with Yoon three times in 2017 through Yu's introduction.

Yoon, however, denied the allegation of accepting bribes from Yu or others in return for special favors. But the KNPA suspended him of his current duty.

Besides Yoon, a current lower-ranking officer at Gangnam Police Station was booked for dereliction of duty as he allegedly had not investigated irregularities at Burning Sun without particular reasons, according to the police agency, Sunday.

The officer was in charge of a case in which a minor was admitted to the club and drank last July, but he dropped the case citing a lack of evidence. It was alleged that the Burning Sun co-owners bribed officers at the police station to cover up the case via a former officer surnamed Kang.

The SMPA said the officer closed the case without following normal investigation procedures, and applied the charge of dereliction of duty. But it said it has not found yet whether he received money.

The Burning Sun co-owner told police he gave 20 million won ($17.6 million) to Kang to deliver it to police, but Kang and the officer both claim they had not received any money. Kang was arrested on Friday for his alleged involvement in bribery.

The nightclub scandal has expanded to sex video allegations, as Jung secretly filmed women he was having sex with and shared the clips in the eight-member chatroom. Jung admitted to the charges.