SEOUL -- Yang Hyun-suk, the founder of YG Entertainment who produced popular bands such as BIGBANG, 2NE1 and BLACKPINK, has been banned from traveling abroad pending an investigation into suspicions that he may have used company money for gambling, three days after police raided YG's head office to seize evidence related to illegal activities.
Police said Tuesday that the travel ban was imposed against Yang, 49, and Seungri, a disgraced BIGBANG member who has been at the center of a series of sex and other scandals that have rocked South Korea's music community this year. They are suspected of violating a foreign exchange transaction law to secure gambling funds.
Police raided the head office of YG Entertainment in Seoul on August 17 to seize evidence and documents following news reports that Yang and Seungri have regularly gambled at casinos in Las Vegas.
Separately, Yang is suspected of providing sexual services to two Southeast Asian investors in 2014 for business favors. His agency has issued a flat denial, but police formed a special team of investigators after National Police Agency Commissioner Min Gap-ryong pledged a thorough probe into all allegations raised against YG Entertainment.
An investigation has been launched into drug use, sexual assault and violence at Burning Sun, a music and dance club associated with Seungri, since a 28-year-old man claimed in January that he was beaten by Burning Sun employees. Seungri was accused of having used dance clubs to arrange sex for business favors from foreign investors.
During their investigation, police found that some Burning Sun employees have trafficked drugs. Also, a sex video scandal was exposed, forcing the departure of several celebrities including singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young. Jung was later arrested on charges of sharing illegally filmed sex video files with Seungri and other artists.
On June 14, Yang resigned as YG head, complaining about the rampant circulation of rumors, two days after Kim Han-bin, known by his stage name B.I and a member of boy band iKON, left for attempting to buy drugs. A woman, who was investigated for using drugs in 2016, argued that B.I has not been questioned by police because Yang forced her to change her testimony about the former iKON leader.
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