April 26, 2019 / 12:00 PM / 6 months ago

K-pop star held on drug charges in latest scandal

Park Yoo-chun, a K-pop idol singer, arrives at the Suwon district court in Suwon, South Korea, April 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

SEOUL (Reuters) - K-pop and drama star Park Yu-chun was arrested on Friday on charges of buying and using illegal drugs, a court said, the latest in a series of scandals to hit the South Korean entertainment business.

Suwon District Court approved the arrest warrant for Park, 32, due to concerns over possible destruction of evidence and flight risk, a court spokesman told Reuters.

Park is suspected of having bought about 1.5 grams of methamphetamine with his former girlfriend earlier this year and using the drug around five times, an official at the Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency said.

Park has denied wrongdoing, saying he had never taken drugs, and he again denied the charges in court, Yonhap news agency said.

Park’s contract with his management agency had been canceled and he would leave the entertainment industry, Park’s management agency, C-JeS Entertainment, said on Wednesday.

Park was a member of boyband TVXQ between 2003 and 2009 before leaving the group with two other members, forming the group JYJ.

A scandal involving sex tapes, prostitutes and secret chat about rape led at least four other K-pop stars to quit the industry earlier this year.

The cases sparked a nationwide drugs bust and investigations into tax evasion and police collusion at night clubs and other nightlife spots.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Additional reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Nick Macfie

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