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Police ask for testimony on B.I

Cops are searching for witness Han Seo-hee, but she’s likely abroad
June 18,2019
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From left: B.I, Han Seo-hee
Gyeonggi police asked former K-pop trainee Han Seo-hee to show up for questioning after she told a local media outlet last week that former K-pop group iKON’s leader B.I illegally purchased LSD through her in 2016.

Officers at the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency said Monday that they recently sent a written request to Han’s house asking her to appear at their station in Suwon, Gyeonggi, to answer questions related to B.I’s drug case.

A spokesperson from the agency said the investigation team recently got in touch with Han over the phone to ask whether she could come in for a round of questioning, but Han didn’t clearly say for sure whether she would. It is not known whether Han received the police notice.

Police suspect she was in a foreign country when the report about B.I’s allegations was published by the local media outlet Dispatch last Wednesday. The article, which eventually led to B.I leaving the popular boy band the same day, was based on Han’s claims. Han, who wasn’t identified in the Dispatch article but later revealed by another outlet, is believed to have returned to Korea on Saturday but left the following day for an unknown country, according to police.

Gyeonggi police officers are hoping to meet her in person once she returns.

Last week’s Dispatch article revealed messages Han claimed she shared with B.I, a 22-year-old singer-songwriter whose real name is Kim Han-bin, in April 2016 on the chat app KakaoTalk. In those chats, B.I was shown asking about “L,” asking Han, “I want to do it forever. Is it strong?”

Han replied, “L is a first-class drug in our country.” Further into the conversation, B.I asked whether the unidentified drug dealer could give a discount if he makes a bulk purchase, to which Han replied, “I’ll ask.”

When Han warned him not to talk about drugs with anyone else, B.I responded, “I’m asking you because we tried it together.”

The Dispatch article was also a red flag to B.I’s label company, YG Entertainment, because the outlet reported that police did not summon B.I at all after Han was busted by police in August 2016 for using drugs. The whistleblower told the outlet that her cell phone was confiscated by officers, who saw her messages with B.I asking for LSD.

In the first and second rounds of questioning, the whistleblower said she testified to police that she gave B.I LSD. That testimony, however, was withdrawn in the third questioning, Han told Dispatch, because YG told her to change her statement about offering drugs to B.I. In return, YG said it would hire a lawyer for her and cover all her legal expenses, she said.

Han is the ex-girlfriend of K-pop star T.O.P, a member of boy band Big Bang, whose label is also YG Entertainment. Han, who wasn’t a part of YG, made headlines in 2017 for using drugs with T.O.P. A Seoul court gave Han a three-year suspended prison sentence and four years of probation. T.O.P received a 10-month suspended prison sentence and two years of probation.

BY CHOI MO-RAN, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]