While everyone has been waiting for a statement from YG entertainment regarding 2NE1‘s Bom being investigated for drug smuggling four years ago, we have instead received a personal letter from CEO Yang Hyun-suk himself.
In the letter, he outlines Bom’s battle with mental illness and subsequent medication with amphetamines to better manage her condition. It was while importing this medication that she was investigated by customs officials; however, after providing details of her medical history and prescriptions, the charges were dropped. Bom has since apparently been receiving alternative treatment at a South Korean hospital.
There has been discussion that amphetamines had not yet been banned when these events took place, but going by the contents of YG’s letter, particularly when he writes:
[S]he only knew that the medication she took in the States was not available in Korea. It doesn’t seem she understood that it was a medication that was prohibited in Korea
It seems likely that amphetamines were already banned in 2010. So, it’s likely that Bom was technically smuggling drugs, even though she and her family were genuinely unaware of it.
I am happy to hear that Bom didn’t intentionally try to sneak contraband into the country; I hope she’s OK with YG writing about her personal life, and I am sorry that her past trauma had to be revealed for my own suspicions to be allayed.
Unfortunately, netizens’ suspicions are still thriving, with many pointing to a case a couple of months before Bom was investigated herself, where a Samsung employee was prosecuted for smuggling 10 grams of amphetamines. However, it could be that the employee was actually smuggling the recreational drug methamphetamine instead of the medical amphetamines that Bom was using, therefore not making the cases comparable.
If their ire is not subdued soon, then let’s at least hope that it gets diverted to the Sewol investigation.