UPDATE: Seungri has announced that he will be retiring from the entertainment industry.
In a statement posted on his Instagram account, he shared that he made the decision because of the amount of controversy that has stemmed from recent events, and will cooperate fully with investigations.
He thanked fans for the love that they have shown him for the past decade. He added that this was the least he could do for the "purpose and honour of YG (Entertainment) and BIGBANG".
In addition, Korean media has reported that Seungri has been issued with a travel ban, and that investigations will be proceeding at an accelerated pace due to his scheduled military enlistment on March 25.
BIGBANG member Seungri has been in the hot seat since January after the club Burning Sun, of which he was a director, allegedly assaulted a male guest and sexually harassed a female guest.
However, this issue has since snowballed into a much bigger problem, with latest reports stating that he has been booked under suspicions of violating anti-prostitution laws. The police have reportedly booked Seungri as a suspect to secure a warrant for a raid.
On March 10, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency searched Club Arena, where they were said to have obtained data related to charges made about Seungri with regards to providing sexual escort services to foreign investors.
The investigation, which is under the jurisdiction of the Special Crime Squad of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, was said to have uncovered that other showbiz figures are involved, although the police have yet to confirm who these individuals are. Over 60,000 messages were submitted to the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission by an informant.
Korean news outlet SBS funE reported that among the messages, there was a chat room in which Seungri and other celebrities shared and discussed hidden camera footage. According to the report, the women in the photos and videos seemed to be unaware that they were being filmed, and some of them were intoxicated to a point where they seemed to be unaware of their surroundings.
Korean Prime Minster Lee Nak-yeon has also commented on the controversy during the National Assembly, where he said, “An assault case in a Gangnam club has uncovered allegations of drug distribution, sexual assault and corruption between the police and its owners. I wish that the police take this as an insult to their honour and that they go through a thorough investigation to the full extent of the law. I hope that the investigators will keep in mind what will happen if suspicions of illegal activities are not fully resolved as they carry on the investigations.“
Seungri was previously reported to be enlisting to the army on March 25, but might not be able to do so as he is a suspect in ongoing criminal investigations.
The singer was in the midst of his The Great Seungri Tour 2019 concert tour when he announced that he would be cancelling all his upcoming shows and appearances. His Singapore gig, which was held on February 23, was his last performance before going on hiatus.
Photo: TPG/CLICK PHOTOS