Kuala Lumpur — The plot, as they say, thickens. Controversial Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, popularly known as Jho Low, has now been implicated in the K-pop scandal.
An investigative TV programme in Korea is alleging that Yang Hyun-suk, the head of YG Entertainment, held dinners to procure sexual services for foreign investors in July 2014, including Mr Low, who is currently at large. He has warrants in both Malaysia and the United States due to his connection to the 1MDB scandal, wherein over RM18.85 billion (S$ 6.2 billion) was siphoned from the state development fund.
Mr Low is wanted on money-laundering charges.
On May 27, Monday, an episode of Korea’s Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation’s programme Straight showed a witness saying that there were allegedly over 10 prostitutes from an adult entertainment firm connected with YG who met with Mr Low and another male investor from Thailand, Chavanos Rattakul.
After the dinner, Messrs Low and Chavanos reportedly went to one of Mr Yang’s clubs, NB. It was there that they were said to have been offered sexual services.
Sources who knew about Mr Yang’s meeting with the two investors, as well as the women who were reportedly involved, were interviewed on the show. The press in Korea have picked up on the story and have mentioned Mr Low in connection with the K-pop sex scandal.
Mr Chavanos has denied his involvement with YG Entertainment.
Mr Yang’s company has called these allegations “groundless.”
In a statement, YG Entertainment said, “Although Yang Hyun-suk was there at the invitation of his acquaintance, there were no solicitations of any form.”
K-pop star Psy was featured in the Barisan Nasional’s Chinese New Year open house in Penang in 2013, an appearance reportedly handled by Jynwel Capital Ltd, Mr Low’s flagship company. Psy was then under YG Entertainment but left the company to branch out on his own last year.
However, Mr Yang has denied that he arranged sexual services for the investors. Malay Mail reports him as saying in a statement, “It’s true that I was present, but I didn’t know that prostitution services were solicited. I didn’t pay for the meal expenses myself. I don’t know anything about it. There was no further contact with the investors.”
There is no statement yet from Mr Low or his legal representatives on his website, although one spokesman issued a statement via his US attorneys denying the allegations.
“Mr. Low is a friend of Psy, and through him met Yang Hyun-suk. He was never involved in, nor aware of, any conduct of the kind alleged in the MBC Straight report.”
Another Korean celebrity who was also implicated in Monday’s report is Hwang Ha-na, the former fiancee of K-pop star Park Yoo-chun. Both Ms Hwang and Mr Park have admitted to the use of drugs.
The Straight reporter said, “The wealthy people who attended the gathering at that time were from abroad. They needed a person who could interpret English and get on well with them naturally. Hwang was from the US, so she was invited to some (of the gatherings).”
Police also suspect K-pop star Seungri, who used to be with the band Big Bang, was arranging for prostitutes to provide sexual favours to possible investors. He allegedly paid hotels with a card from YG Entertainment, with whom he is affiliated. / TISG