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Korean hiphop artists charged with drug use


A group of Korean hiphop artists have been charged with smoking marijuana.

Police have booked 10 suspects -- including a well-known rapper-producer, semi-finalist of a hip-hop audition TV program, hip-hop composer, stage planner and an entertainer trainee -- for smoking the banned substance repeatedly between March and December last year, the Seocho Police Station revealed Friday.

The accused said they had obtained the drug either online or from an unknown foreigner they had met at a club in Itaewon, according to police.

One suspect has confessed to taking the substance in order to boost confidence, concentration levels and hearing abilities, police said.

Police first became aware of the group’s illegal activities last March, when a 24-year-old composer, whose identity has been withheld, was caught attempting to steal cash from a locker at a sauna. The culprit was caught while trying to take the key from the victim, who was asleep.

The composer subsequently tested positive for marijuana when the police ran a drug test.

After questioning, the composer admitted to using the substance numerous times with a group of friends at each other’s houses, which prompted the police to investigate nine other individuals.

Marijuana usage is banned under South Korean law. The penalty is a jail term of maximum five years or a fine of up to 50 million won ($43,300).

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)



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