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(2nd LD) Police raid YG Entertainment over ex-chief Yang's suspected gambling

15:37 August 17, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with latest info in paras 3-7)

SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Yonhap) -- Police raided the headquarters of YG Entertainment on Saturday over allegations that Yang Hyun-suk, former CEO and chief producer of the influential K-pop label, engaged in habitual gambling.

Police have been looking into suspicions that Yang, 49, and Seungri, a former member of the K-pop boy band BIGBANG, gambled while overseas. They were both booked for the allegation earlier this week.

Investigators carried out the five-hour raid on YG Entertainment in Mapo Ward, western Seoul, starting at 9 a.m. to search for evidence related to the suspicion. Yang's residence was not subject to the raid.

Police are looking into allegations that Yang may have embezzled company funds for gambling.

Cable network JTBC earlier reported that Yang and Seungri regularly gambled at hotel casinos in Las Vegas, betting billions of won.

In March, Seungri, who stands at the center of drug and sex scandals, was dispelled from BIGBANG, which YG Entertainment manages, amid a widening probe into embezzlement and pimping charges.

Police are also investigating whether Yang and Seungri violated the foreign exchange transaction law to secure gambling funds.

Separately, Yang was booked in July on suspicions that he arranged sex services for foreign investors in 2014 while treating them at a posh restaurant.

Idol-turned-K-pop guru Yang resigned from the top post at YG Entertainment in June as its big-name artists were embroiled in a series of scandals, including alleged drug use.

This file photo, taken on March 20, 2019, shows the headquarters of YG Entertainment in Seoul. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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