The former iKON rapper BI's drug case was the latest drug scandal to hit the entertainment agency YG Entertainment (YGE) which led to CEO Yang Hyun-suk and his brother Yang Min-suk stepping down from their positions at YGE. The former idol also stepped away from the band and his contract with YGE was terminated after the scandal made headlines.
All of this began with the Dispatch report which broke the story about BI using illegal drugs and YGE using its alleged police connections to keep him away from being charged in the 2016 case. Following this, it also came to light that a witness had mentioned the rapper's name in the 2016 investigation, but later recanted after allegedly being influenced by the then YGE CEO Hyun-suk. Local Korean media released personal details about the informant who was until then referred to as 'A' and suggested that she was a YGE trainee, Han Seo-hee.
YGE released a statement Monday confirming police informant "A" was never a YGE trainee. According to Soompi, the entertainment agency said, “‘A,’ the person known as the informant, was never a trainee under YG Entertainment.” They further added, “Though we have made requests to media outlets to make corrections, wrong information continues to be reported. Therefore, we would like to reaffirm the fact [that ‘A’ was never a YG trainee] once more through this official statement.”
The police had released a statement June 14 regarding the identity of 'A' and according to a media report, said, "The reports that BI’s chat logs were revealed by [Han Seo-hee] are just rumors from the media. It’s difficult for us to reveal who Miss A is. We can’t say for certain that it is Han Seo-hee, and we can’t reveal who it really is." This is in keeping with laws which punishes anyone who fails to comply with 5 years in prison or a 50 million Won ($42,000 USD) fine.
Speaking about his client's identity being revealed, Seo-hee's lawyer Bang Jung Hyun on June 15 said, "The whistleblower’s name was revealed without permission. We intend to determine which channels were used to obtain and report this information about the whistleblower." Seo-hee had also taken to Instagram according to a report in Allkpop to say she was overseas and was "scared and flustered" about her identity being revealed so early on during the investigation.
In the meanwhile, the Commissioner General of the Korea National Police Agency, Min Gap Ryong, in a press conference on June 17 stated, "We will thoroughly investigate the suspicions that were raised by forming an exclusive team that will be headed by the director of the detective division at Gyeonggi Southern Provincial Police Agency. We learned a lesson while investigating Burning Sun. By fully utilizing the knowledge we gained through previous drug cases and other similar cases, we will conduct an exhaustive investigation to resolve all of the suspicions raised by the public."
He, however, did not reveal if the police will investigate Hyun-suk and said, "We cannot disclose details about the investigation." South Korean laws regarding illegal drug use are strict and also culturally frowned upon unlike the music industries in the West. This has led to many idols, most recently Park Yoo-chun being investigated by the police. In Yoo-chun's case, the prosecution has requested for a punishment of 18 months in prison.