Police raid K-pop agency over alleged illegal gambling

K-pop, which has grown in popularity in the Middle East, is largely associated with clean living, yet has more than its fair share of controversy. (File/AFP)
Updated 17 August 2019

Police raid K-pop agency over alleged illegal gambling

  • Yang Hyun-suk founder and ex-chief producer of YG Entertainment, resigned after drug and sex scandals rocked the company
  • Local news reports said Yang was alleged to have engaged in ‘habitual and illegal gambling’

SEOUL: South Korean police raided one of the biggest K-pop management firms on Saturday as part of an investigation into music mogul Yang Hyun-suk’s alleged illicit gambling.
Yang, founder and ex-chief producer of YG Entertainment, resigned from his post in June after drug and sex scandals rocked the company since March.
He was placed under formal investigation by police earlier this week over allegations of gambling involving illicit cash exchange along with Seungri, a former member of YG’s highly popular band BIGBANG.
“We are trying to gather evidence on how (Yang) secured funds for gambling, and how many times the alleged gambling took place,” a Seoul police officer told AFP.
Local news reports said Yang was alleged to have engaged in “habitual and illegal gambling,” in locations including Macau and Las Vegas since the early 2000s.
Yang was also separately placed under investigation by police last month for allegedly arranging sex services for foreign investors back in 2014.
A member of the popular boy band Seo Tae Ji and Boys in the 1990s, Yang developed YG into a K-pop powerhouse with the success of idol groups such as BIGBANG and BLACKPINK.
The firm is now considered one of South Korea’s top three entertainment agencies alongside SM and JYP, and was behind the 2012 mega hit “Gangnam Style” by Psy that helped raise K-pop’s global profile.
But it has been in hot water since Yang and some of its stars were implicated in a spate of scandals.
Seungri, whose real name is Lee Seung-hyun, retired in March after being accused of arranging sex services for potential investors in his business.
In June, fellow YG artist Kim Han-bin, a member of boyband iKon, left the group amid allegations he had bought illegal drugs three years ago — in a case Yang is also accused of trying to cover up.
Earlier this year, a building owned by another YG star Daesung also came under investigation over an allegation that four of its tenants were involved with illicit sex and drug businesses.


Rogue ‘Bin Laden’ elephant caught in India after killing 5 people

Updated 11 November 2019

Rogue ‘Bin Laden’ elephant caught in India after killing 5 people

  • Wildlife rangers tracked the pachyderm dubbed ‘Laden’ through a forest for several days using drones and domesticated elephants
  • Nearly 2,300 people have been killed by elephants in India over the last five years, while 700 elephants have been killed since 2011

GUWAHATI: An elephant named after the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that killed five Indian villagers has been caught after a massive operation to hunt down the creature, officials said Monday.
Wildlife rangers tracked the pachyderm — dubbed “Laden” by the locals it menaced in northeastern Assam state — through a forest for several days using drones and domesticated elephants.
“We started the final leg of the operation today... Two darts were fired by experts which had tranquilized the male elephant,” a senior forestry official told AFP.
“Now the work is on to shift the elephant to a forest where there is no human habitation nearby.”
The animal killed five people, including three women, during a 24-hour rampage through Goalpara district in October.
Officials said they would take the elephant’s welfare into account as well as the safety of people living nearby in deciding where it would be relocated
Nearly 2,300 people have been killed by elephants in India over the last five years, according to official figures released in June, while 700 elephants have been killed since 2011 — figures resulting in part from shrinking natural habitats.
Elephants frequently migrate into Goalpara, resulting in high numbers of fatal encounters with humans amid rampant deforestation.
Some elephants there have been poisoned or shot by locals, while others have died on electric fences or on railways cutting through migration routes.