Police expand Burning Sun investigation to Club Arena, National Tax Service

Posted March 11, 2019 by

Amid the ongoing investigation of Gangnam-based club Burning Sun, police have begun to probe another Gangnam club, Club Arena, as well as the National Tax Service over allegations of sex bribery and tax evasion.

Investigators from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency raided Club Arena on Sunday to collect evidence related to 29-year-old K-pop star Seungri, who has been booked on suspicions of sex bribery.

Police have been looking into the suspicion after a local media outlet disclosed social media messages in which Seungri allegedly told an employee of Burning Sun club, then a Club Arena employee, to provide illicit sex services for his foreign VIP customers.

As the singer had mentioned Club Arena as the venue for where the “lobbying” would take place, police will investigate involvement of club employees in the case.

On Sunday, police booked the singer, who is slated to enlist for military service on March 25, as a suspect in alleged sex bribery. Police on Monday said they would continue the probe even after the Big Bang members starts military service, after discussion with the Ministry of National Defense.

Some celebrities whose names were in the group message that concerned the alleged sex bribery were summoned for questioning as well, according to police.

Meanwhile, Seoul’s Gangnam Police Station sent five investigators to raid the NTS Seoul Regional Office on Friday to gather evidence on an alleged corrupt tie between the office and Club Arena on tax evasion.

Police have been investigating the club since the end of 2018 over allegations the club evaded some 15 billion won ($13.2 million) in taxes.

The raid was carried out as police found evidence that the NTS Seoul Regional Office had not properly investigated the case. Ten people were booked, including a man believed to be the owner of Club Arena, and NTS Seoul Regional Office officials were summoned for questioning.

Police also suspect that Club Arena gave money to officials at fire stations and the district office. The exact amount of money and the people involved in the case have not been disclosed, but an accounting book reportedly contains records showing millions of won in cash being paid.

Police plan to continue to investigate to find out whether the nightclub lobbied public officials in charge of overseeing fire safety and food hygiene at the club.

Source: Korean Herald