Ex-YG Entertainment boss Yang Hyun Suk charged for alleged cover-up of singer B.I.'s drug scandal

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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - AUGUST 29: Yang Hyun-Suk, the former CEO of K-pop music label YG Entertainment arrives at police station on August 29, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency has booked Yang Hyun-suk, the former CEO of K-pop music label YG Entertainment along with Seungri, a former member of K-pop boy band BIGBANG to be questioned over charges of gambling in a foreign country and securing the money in violation of South Korean law. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)
Yang Hyun-Suk, the former CEO of K-pop music label YG Entertainment, at police station in August 2019 after he was booked for questioning over charges of gambling in a foreign country and securing the money in violation of South Korean law. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)

Former CEO of K-pop giant YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun Suk, is facing a criminal trial for allegedly attempting to cover up a drug scandal by iKON's former member, Kim Han Bin, better known by his stage name B.I.

B.I., a 24-year-old rapper and singer-songwriter, was previously investigated in 2016 for allegedly using illegal drugs such as marijuana and LSD. He has since quit YG's iKON boy band and is facing backlash from netizens for trying to restart his entertainment career as a solo artist.

B.I. was acquitted of his charges after he tested negative for drug use, until a whistle-blowing acquaintance accused then YG CEO and chief producer Yang Hyun Suk of threatening him and coercing him to lie in his testimony during B.I.'s drug use case.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JANUARY 23:  B.I of boy band iKON attends the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on January 23, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)
B.I, formerly of boy band iKON, at the 8th Gaon Chart K-Pop Awards on January 23, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/WireImage)

Yang was indicted on 28 May 2021 by the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office on charges of threatening and intimidating an informant and impeding police investigations into B.I.'s drug case.

The former YG CEO is currently overseas and is also suspected of conspiring with another agency to send the informant overseas in 2016. However, investigations into the matter are suspended as Yang is overseas and uncontactable.

He is also facing and has admitted to charges of gambling in a foreign country and securing the money in violation of South Korean law, which if he is found guilty of, could have him facing fines to a maximum of 10 million won. 

Yang had stepped down as CEO and chief of YG Entertainment amid the drug scandal allegations in 2019.

Yang's first hearing will take place on 25 June, and B.I’s will be held on 9 July.

YG Entertainment is a major agency which includes top K-pop girl group Blackpink among its talents.

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