SEOUL: K-pop star G-Dragon -- of the wildly successful but problem-plagued band BIGBANG -- is under investigation for alleged drug use, police said on Thursday, becoming the latest in a string of South Korean entertainers to face such a probe.
South Korea has extremely tough legislation on illegal drugs, and even Koreans who take drugs like marijuana legally overseas risk prosecution upon returning to their home country.
This year, President Yoon Suk Yeol called for more stringent measures to eliminate drug traffickers, saying the country was no longer "drug-free".
Police in Incheon said on Thursday that they had "opened an investigation" into G-Dragon's case, but declined to provide details of the allegations against him.
The disclosure comes less than a week after police launched an investigation into "Parasite" actor Lee Sun-kyun, who stands accused of using marijuana and other psychoactive drugs.
Local news reports said that Lee -- previously celebrated for his wholesome image -- was being dropped from his ongoing television and commercial projects.
Earlier this month, another high profile actor, Yoo Ah-in, was indicted for alleged drug use.
G-Dragon's group BIGBANG is one of South Korea's most successful boy bands, having sold at least 140 million records worldwide since their debut in 2006.
But its members have often been in the limelight for misconduct.
Group member Seungri retired from show business in 2019 amid mounting criminal investigations, and was later sentenced to 18 months in prison for offering up women to potential investors for sexual services, among other charges.
Rapper T.O.P -- who in May revealed he had "withdrawn" from BIGBANG -- received a suspended jail sentence in 2017 for using marijuana.
G-Dragon himself was also investigated for marijuana use in 2011, although he was released without indictment at the time. — AFP