NATIONAL

1MDB scandal financier allegedly attended YG head’s dinner parties with prostitutes

By Ock Hyun-ju
  • Published : May 28, 2019 - 15:33
  • Updated : May 29, 2019 - 09:55

A third-generation scion of a conglomerate “played an important role” at dinner gatherings involving sexual services arranged by YG Entertainment head Yang Hyun-suk for foreign investors, according to an investigative TV program reporter Tuesday.
(Yonhap)

The MBC program “Straight” which aired late Monday alleged that Yang hosted dinner parties and procured prostitutes for two wealthy investors -- Low Taek Jho, a Malaysian fugitive sought by the authorities in Malaysia, Singapore and the US in connection with the 1MDB scandal in which $4.5 billion was allegedly embezzled from the state investment company, and a man from Thailand -- in July 2014.

Twenty-five women, including more than 10 prostitutes from an adult entertainment establishment with close ties to YG, and eight men were with Yang, according a witness who spoke on the TV show.

YG has denied the allegations as “groundless.”

In a statement released through his US attorneys, a spokesman for Low said he had never been involved in, nor aware of, any conduct of the kind alleged in the MBC Straight report.

A well-known singer affiliated with YG and Hwang Ha-na, 31, granddaughter of Namyang Dairy Products founder Hong Doo-young, were part of the gathering, a reporter on the “Straight” team said in a radio interview.

“The wealthy people who attended the gathering at that time were from abroad. They needed a person who could interpret English and get on well with them naturally. Hwang was from the US, so she was invited to some (of the gatherings,)” the reporter told the radio.

Hwang, the former fiancee of K-pop star Park Yoo-chun, was indicted on suspicion that she sold and used methamphetamine in 2015, 2018 and early this year.

The reporter also mentioned Madam Chung, who he claimed has close ties to Yang as well as politicians and tycoons, as having supplied prostitutes to the dinner gatherings.

In Monday night’s episode, “Straight” aired an interview with a woman who claimed that she was raped by a Thai man and was forced to take a photo of herself smiling.
 
The Thai man, who was accompanied by an executive of a YG subsidiary YGX, raped the woman at the club Burning Sun owned by former Big Bang member Seungri and had been investigated for the allegation, according to the TV show. 

But the police dropped the rape investigation, citing her smiling photo, the TV program said.

They have assured that the case will be investigated to determine the facts, if necessary.

(laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)