Seoul — According to reports on Thursday (Dec 17), K-pop singer BoA has been questioned over allegations of smuggling in psychotropic drugs.

On Wednesday, the Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office called in the 34-year-old singer to investigate her on suspicion of trying to bring in drugs (including Zolpidem, a prescription drug that induces sleep), from Japan under the name of an employee at her agency, SM Entertainment.

SM Entertainment released a statement saying that the incident was a mistake and that BoA did not have any intention to bring in the drugs illegally.

“Our employee received the drugs at a local hospital following due procedures but was not aware that it could be a problem in South Korea even though the drugs were prescribed normally abroad,” the company said. SM Entertainment said that the singer tried to take the pills she previously used in Japan after experiencing side effects from the sleeping pills she recently received on a doctor’s advice.

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BoA has been taking sleeping pills. Picture: Instagram

Prosecutors will decide whether to indict the singer after reviewing the case, including its intentionality. At the age of 14, BoA debuted as a singer and is known as the ‘Star of Asia’ for her popularity in the region and helping create ‘hallyu’ or the global popularity of Korean pop culture, during its early stage. The singer recently released a new album celebrating the 20th anniversary of her debut.

Born on November 5, 1986, Kwon Bo-ah, known professionally as BoA is a South Korean singer, songwriter, record producer and actress. BoA has been recognized as one of the most successful and influential Korean entertainers throughout her career, and is therefore commonly credited as the “Queen of K-pop.”

Born and raised in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, she was discovered by SM Entertainment talent agents when she accompanied her older brother to a talent search in 1998 and was trained for two years.

Since her debut in August 2000, BoA has released 20 studio albums, 10 in Korean, nine in Japanese, and one in English. On television, she appeared as a judge on the reality competition show K-pop Star (2011–2013), as an actress on the television drama Listen to Love (2016), as a host for the second season of Produce 101 (2017), and as a coach for the third season of The Voice of Korea (2020). /TISG