Starry Nightclub Shuts down over Drug Allegations

  • By Park Hae-soo

    February 18, 2019 13:44

    The glitzy Gangnam nightclub Burning Sun, which has been a focal point for prurient interest in the lives of the rich and famous after allegations of drug use, sexual harassment and bouncer brutality, closed for business on Sunday at the owner's decision.

    The allegations surfaced when a male patron, identified only by his surname Kim, posted a claim on social media last December that he was brutally assaulted by nightclub staff when he tried to help a female patron they were dragging into a VIP room.

    He alleged cozy ties between the club owners and police, who appeared at the scene and instead of investigating the alleged incident, slapped Kim in handcuffs and carted him off.

    A Chinese woman suspected of supplying drugs to the nightclub Burning Sun is taken to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency for questioning on Saturday. /Yonhap

    That opened the floodgates on other reports of drug abuse and sexual assault on the premises, including the charge that rich clients were enticed into the club's VIP room where they would be supplied with pliant female patrons who had been slipped date-rape drugs.

    Seung-ri of boy band Big Bang is in deep water because he is a co-owner of the club. He claims to have been unaware of the activities, but police are being urged to investigate. So far the investigation, which started last week, is focusing on suspicions that staff supplied drugs to patrons.

    Police recently summoned one Chinese employee on the time-honored principle of arresting the usual suspects first.

    The Seoul Central District Court earlier sentenced one keen partygoer surnamed Tak to three years in jail for habitual drug use. One of his haunts was Burning Sun, where he took ecstasy and ketamine in March last year, though there was no suggestion that the club had supplied them.

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