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Former K-pop Star Questioned By Police over Alleged Illegal Gambling

by Glenn Baird - August 28, 2019

Seungri, former member of K-pop band Big Bang was questioned by police today, accused of illegal overseas gambling.

Lee Seung-hyun, who adopted the stage name Seungri has been embroiled in controversy for the greater part of 2019 after he announced his retirement from the entertainment business in March following on from allegations involving sex, drugs and violence.

“The Burning Sun” scandal, as it has been coined in relation to a nightclub in the Gangnam-gu district of Seoul, has not only rocked the world of K-pop but the whole of South Korea, shattering the squeaky clean image that the industry has strived to present for years.

The 28-year-old singer has been accused of “habitual gambling” and the exploitation of the “Foreign Exchange Transactions Act”.

Appearing outside the police station, Seungri spoke briefly saying, “I will diligently cooperate with the police investigation,” before bowing his head and adding, “I apologize”.

K-pop is a South Korean musical phenomenon that became popular in the country in the early 2000s and is now a world-wide industry with fans across the globe. The process of forming K-pop bands has always been an explicitly manufactured one and like any successful manufacturing industry has seen huge benefits for the national economy.

In 2012 K-pop generated more than US$3.4 billion, which at the time was a 27.8% increase on 2011 and was identified by Time magazine as “South Korea’s Greatest Export”.

This new revelation is likely to have implications, not just for Seungri but for the entire K-pop industry.