South Korean Police Request Assistance From US Authorities For Yang Hyun-Suk's Investigation

The ex-CEO and Seungri will reportedly be interrogated for alleged gambling charges this week

By E! Asia Staff 27 Aug, 2019 4:00 AMTags
Yang Hyun-Suk, SeungriGetty Images

On 25 August, it has been reported by local new outlets such as No Cut News that the Korean National Police Agency has officially requested assistance from the United States Department of the Treasury for their investigations into former CEO of YG Entertainment, Yang Hyun-suk and ex-Big Bang member, Seungri

They have requested for the US treasury to send them the bank account data of YG Entertainment USA, a subsidiary of the South Korean talent agency behind top-tier K-pop acts such as Big Bang, BLACKPINK and more.

This request was to investigate both Yang and Seungri's alleged suspicions of gambling abroad. The bank account data is required for the local police to determine whether funds from YG Entertainment US were used for gambling purposes. 

South Korea considers itself an anti-gambling state and it has anti-gambling laws in place that still apply to South Korean nationals, even if an individual were to gamble "legally" overseas.

On 7 August, local news outlets Dispatch and JTBC Newsroom reported that Yang and Seungri allegedly gambled with an amount of over 1 billion won at the VIP Room of MGM Las Vegas. This led the police to reveal that they have been investigating Yang's alleged gambling since April 2019 due to an internal tip. 

Since then, a search and seizure was executed on the YG Entertainment building in order to obtain more evidence, although Yang's personal home was excluded from this search.

On 22 August, JTBC Newsroom released another investigative report on Yang's alleged gambling exploits. In the report, they interviewed a former YG Entertainment employee who revealed that Yang and his artists always stayed at the MGM Grand whenever they were in the US, and in 2017 alone, they received roughly 400 million won (approximately $330,500) in complimentary services.

Yang Hyun-Suk and Seungri Officially Booked On Gambling Charges

According to the JTBC report, Yang has also been running clubs in the Hongdae and Gangnam district in Seoul, though he was never a registered owner.

Yang allegedly received profits in cash only so that the profits would be untraceable. The report also stated that the US Department of Treasury had alerted South Korean authorities previously to the fact that Yang and Seungri bought large amounts of casino chips without any record of funds being wired from South Korea. 

A representative from the Korean National Police Agency stated on 25 August that Yang and Seungri are likely to be summoned this week for questioning on their alleged gambling charges. 

The story is still developing. Stay tuned for more updates.