The police summoned an incumbent high-ranking police official for questioning Friday in connection with a burgeoning scandal involving K-pop stars Seungri and Jung Joon-young.
The senior superintendent, who worked as superintendent at the Gangnam Police Station, is suspected of pulling strings for the nightclub Burning Sun, where Seungri was an executive, to help its management avoid punishment for illegal acts.
The officer is also suspected of helping prevent media coverage of a drunk driving case against FT Island member Choi Jong-hoon.
This comes as part of an investigation into the high-profile scandal rocking the K-pop industry. At least five K-pop artists -- Big Bang’s Seungri, singer Jung Joon-young, Highlight’s Yong Jun-hyung, FT Island’s Choi Jong-hoon and CNBlue’s Lee Jong-hyun -- were involved.
Seungri was questioned over allegations of procuring escort services for potential investors and Jung on charges of secretly filming encounters with women he had slept with and sharing the footage in the online group chat room.
In the embattled chat room, a “police commissioner” was mentioned.
While interrogating the CEO of Yuri Holdings, a business partner of Seungri identified only by his surname Yoo, police reportedly secured testimony that the police official involved is a senior superintendent.
The police plan to question Choi as early as Saturday as part of the probe.
The police also reportedly questioned another chat room participant, surnamed Kim.
“I saw Yoo talking to the police commissioner, it was awesome,” Kim said according to KakaoTalk messages that were reconstructed and reported in local media.
Separately, on Friday a Seoul court held a hearing to review whether to arrest a former police officer, surnamed Kim, who is suspected of taking bribes from Burning Sun for overlooking the fact that it served underage customers.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)