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B.I quits iKON over attempted drug purchase

By Yim Hyun-su

  • Published : Jun 12, 2019 - 15:04
  • Updated : Jun 12, 2019 - 15:04

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(B.I's Instagram)
Just hours after a report alleging iKON’s B.I had tried to buy hallucinogenic drug LSD in the past, the singer announced he will leave the band that he debuted with in 2015. The move was swiftly confirmd by YG Entertainment.

The singer took to Instagram to issue the shocking announcement Wednesday afternoon, saying he is “extremely embarrassed and sorry,” though he denied taking drugs.

“I’m deeply sorry for causing a controversy over my inappropriate behavior,” he said. “It’s true that I had interest in something to rely on which I shouldn’t have at one point when I was having a hard time. But I was too scared and worried to follow through,” the singer said.

In an emailed statement later the same day, YG confirmed the singer's departure. "We take the issue very seriously and decided that he should the band and we should end his contract," the statement read.

The announcements come on the heels of an exclusive report by local media outlet Dispatch, which accuses the singer of trying to buy LSD in 2016 through a messaging app.

Screenshots of a KakaoTalk conversation obtained by the media outlet show what seems to be an exchange between the singer and a suspected drug offender who remains anonymous, during which a person identified as B.I asks questions about the price and strength of the psychedelic drug and says he wants to use it to become a “genius.”

In one message, the singer appears to ask, “Should I get three? I can’t splash out, though. Can you get a discount?”

When the suspected drug dealer warns that one drug can lead to another and says B.I could end up using cocaine eventually, the singer appears to shrug off the warning, but says he wants to use drugs to “become a genius.”

The other person also tells B.I not to talk about drugs with others, to which the singer responds that he’s only asking because they had done drugs together.

If the allegations are proven, they could have serious consequences for B.I, as drug offenses in South Korea can carry sentences of between six months and four years in prison.

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(Yonhap)
The accusation comes nearly three years after the anonymous suspect in question was arrested on suspicion of violating the drug law, Dispatch reported. Under police questioning, the suspect admitted to delivering acid blotter papers to the singer’s residence, Dispatch said, citing the Yongin Dongbu Police Station. A popular way of taking LSD is to put the drug on a small piece of paper and put the paper on one’s tongue.

The media outlet also questioned the decision by police not to interview B.I despite the KakaoTalk messages implicating the singer in having used drugs before.

The report also alleges that the suspected dealer changed the statement that had been given to police about B.I after being contacted by YG Entertainment, which provided a lawyer for the suspect.

This is not the first time a YG artist has been implicated in the use of drugs. Rapper T.O.P was given a 10-month prison sentence in 2017, suspended for two years, for using marijuana on multiple occasions.

By Yim Hyun-su (hyunsu@heraldcorp.com)