NATIONAL

[Newsmaker] Police probe former YG chief over alleged drug cover-up

By Kim Arin
  • Published : Nov 10, 2019 - 14:58
  • Updated : Nov 10, 2019 - 17:51

Former head and executive producer of K-pop talent agency YG Entertainment Yang Hyun-suk was grilled by police Saturday for about 14 hours.

The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency, handling the case, said its special crime squad questioned Yang from 10 a.m. to 11:50 p.m.

Police booked Yang on Wednesday on suspicion of blackmailing a witness to retract her statement to police in August 2016 alleging drug use by one of YG’s artists -- B.I of boy band iKON.


Ex-YG chief Yang appears at Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency’s special crime squad bureau Saturday. (Yonhap)

Yang is also suspected of paying legal fees for the witness, who is not a YG employee, using company money, which constitutes embezzlement.

Another charge facing Yang is police evasion, by allegedly causing the witness to alter her statements and impede the launch of a probe.

In June, the witness filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission against Yang. After the media reported the complaint, YG terminated its contract with the iKON singer.

Upon investigation, the commission referred the case to the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office. But as the Yongin Dongbu Police Station, based in Gyeonggi Province, had interviewed the witness in 2016, the Gyeonggi police took jurisdiction of the case.

While leaving the police station close to midnight, Yang told reporters he “gave (to police) a factual account of the circumstances.”

By Kim Arin (arin@heraldcorp.com)