Singer BoA has been questioned by prosecutors on charges of secretly bringing psychotropic drugs from Japan to South Korea.
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SBS '8 News' reported on December 17 that, "A Hallyu star was investigated by prosecutors yesterday (December 16) on charges of secretly importing psychotropic drugs from abroad." The Hallyu Wave star turned out to be BoA.
According to the prosecutor's investigation, BoA was caught at the customs search while trying to bring psychotropic drugs such as Zolpidem to South Korea under the name of a Korean employee. The drugs were prescribed through an employee of her agency's Japanese branch. The drugs caught are also known to include drugs classified as "overdose" under the law because they are more likely to be misused than Zolpidem.
After the report was released, her agency SM Entertainment explained that BoA had been prescribed sleeping pills in South Korea to treat her health problems, and that her prescription was also given to a Japanese hospital.
"It was a mistake to bring psychotropic drugs prescribed in Japan into South Korea under the name of another employee," the agency said. "A Japanese employee asked a Japanese hospital if he could send the drug to Korea and sent it under the name of a Korean company for convenience."
The prosecution is expected to decide whether to indict BoA by comprehensively judging whether she actually took the drugs or whether she intended to smuggle them in.
Below is SM Entertainment's official position.
"Hello, we're SM Entertainment.
We would like to share our position on the content about BoA, our artist, which was reported today.
It was caused by the mistake of an employee of our overseas branch who had no knowledge of trade, customs affairs, etc., and we sincerely apologize for causing concern to our fans and many people.
It is true that an employee of an overseas branch delivered the medicines by mail without formal import clearance procedures, but it was a mistake by ignorance, not illegal importation. So we'd like to tell you the details.
BoA recently took sleeping pills prescribed by a doctor after a medical examination suggested that she needed enough sleep due to a decrease in growth hormone. However, there were severe side effects such as dizziness and vomiting, and we talked to the employee about this bad situation.
The employee who had lived with her in Japan was worried about BoA's health and recalled that she had no side effects using the drugs prescribed in Japan, despite jet lag caused when she travel between Japan and the United States.
The employee was confirmed by the local post office that the medicines can be sent from Japan to South Korea if the documents such as the ingredient table are attached, but she didn't know that even the medication prescribed overseas can be a problem in South Korea, and the drugs were shipped to Korea.
The employee recently learned of her mistake after being contacted by an investigator and has been actively cooperated with the investigation and promised not to make such a mistake again.
In addition, we would like to say that the medicines were delivered to the investigation, and that we faithfully explained the facts and evidence, and that BoA, who was investigated, also faithfully conducted the investigation.
We plan to strengthen the multi-faceted training of all employees to prevent this from happening again. We're sorry for the inconvenience this has caused so many people.
Once again, we sincerely apologize for causing your concern."