It was belatedly revealed that Park Bom, a member of the K-pop idol group 2NE1, was caught smuggling illegal drugs into Korea but released without punishment about four years ago.
The local daily Segye Ilbo reported Monday that Park had attempted to smuggle 82 amphetamine pills from the U.S. into Korea back in October 2010 via international mail. She was caught by customs officials at Incheon International Airport and the case was referred to the prosecution.
But prosecutors suspended the drug-related criminal case without further investigation.
Amphetamine is a stimulant that speeds up the function of the brain, and is often used for medical treatment. In Korea, the drug is banned, even for medical use, as it can cause serious harm to human bodies when abused.
The Korean news outlet raised suspicions over why the idol was set free without being charged for attempted drug smuggling and whether her celebrity status was a factor.
“For drug smugglers, even if it is their first time, a custody investigation is required by principle. It is hard to understand why the prosecution did not even indict Park,” an unnamed prosecutor was quoted as saying.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)
[Photo Credit: OSEN]