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Police looking into online seller of BTS Jungkook's hat

This compiled image shows BTS member Jungkook wearing a hat (left) and an online post selling a hat allegedly worn by the singer
This compiled image shows BTS member Jungkook wearing a hat (left) and an online post selling a hat allegedly worn by the singer

Police have launched an investigation into an online seller who put up a hat allegedly worn by BTS member Jungkook for 10 million won ($6,981) on an online flea market platform.

According to Seoul Seocho Police, the seller has turned himself or herself in to a police station in Gyeonggi Province on Oct. 18 after the attempted sale caught public attention for its potential unlawfulness.

In South Korea, a person who obtains a lost property must report it to the police. If the person keeps it or attempts to dispose of it for profit, he or she can be punished for embezzlement of lost property.

In the now-deleted Oct. 17 post on a secondhand online marketplace Bungae Jangteo, the seller, claiming to be working at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul, explained that the singer left the hat in a waiting room while visiting the ministry to get a passport. To back up the claim, the seller attached an image file of their ministry ID card.

The price of the hat was set at 10 million won ($6,980). “As he (Jungkook) is a world-class singer, the item’s value will increase down the road. I won’t negotiate the price as it will worth even more than the price tag,” the post read.

The seller claimed to have legally obtained the ownership of the hat as he or she reported the item to the police but the BTS member didn’t call or visit to get it back for six months.

This, however, was thrown into question as local media reported that police have not received any such report.

The post selling the hat on Bungae Jangteo was later deleted as the controversy ran rampant.

The issue was brought up during a parliamentary audit of the Foreign Ministry this week by Rep. Lee Jae-jung of the ruling Democratic Party.

Minister Park Jin, in his response, said that if the person in question is confirmed as a ministry employee, he or she will face “stern consequences in accordance with relevant regulations.”

The minister declined to comment on further details on the internal investigation due to the potential exposure of personal information.



By Park Han-na (hnpark@heraldcorp.com)
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