Big Bang’s T.O.P has officially been kicked out of the mandatory Korean military service due to his recent scandal involving the use of marijuana.
If this is news to you, where have you been the past few days?!
If you’re not too familiar with the K-pop universe, we totally understand. Let us give you a quick recap of what’s been happening over the last couple of days.
T.O.P, whose real name is Choi Seung Hyun,
has tested positive for smoking marijuana
allegedly with a female trainee on separate occasions at his home last October.
The police have officially indicted the 29-year-old rapper-cum-actor without detention on Monday on charges of smoking marijuana after confirmed test results using his hair samples.
Why was Choi tested for drugs only now if he had allegedly committed the crime more than seven months ago?
The information was reportedly leaked by the female trainee who was with him, Han Seo Hee
, formerly a contestant on the reality show Birth of a Great Star 3
She was arrested in March for using marijuana and had admitted to consuming liquid marijuana during police questioning.
In the middle of her confession, she reportedly mentioned Choi’s name, which prompted the police to investigate further.
Following this scandal, the army has kicked Choi out of his enlistment after serving in the police regiment for three months and 27 days
since 9 February this year.
The complete mandatory military enlistment period in South Korea lasts for two years
In other words, being kicked out from his service means those days will not be counted and his two-year enlistment time will be reset. He will now have to enlist again in the future
Shortly after the news broke, Choi was seen leaving the Gangnam Police Station where he was originally based.
He could face five years of prison
or a fine of up to 50 million Won
How will this affect Choi’s career as a top star in South Korea?
Smoking marijuana is no joke in South Korea as the country is home to one of the strictest laws against cannabis in the world
If you have drugs in your system, you may want to stay away from the streets of South Korea because the police have the authority to stop you at any moment and test you for drug use
The most common test they would apply is the hair follicle test
, which can detect the substance from as far as three years back
This is probably the reason Choi’s test results came back positive even though he had smoked marijuana in October.
Once the drug is found in your system, you’ll be arrested immediately, regardless of where you consumed it.
So no matter what the authorities plan to do with Choi from here onwards, we suspect that he will be staying away from his glory days on stage for a while.
Since the drug scandal, his record label, YG Entertainment shared his hand-written apology
"First of all, I would like to extend my sincere apology to many of you for causing huge disappointment and disturbance.
"I feel so embarrassed that I can’t show myself in front of you to apologise.
“I have no excuses and deserve any kind of punishment. I feel very regretful and fearful for having left an irreparable scar in everyone’s hearts, including our members, my agency, friends and family.
"I will reflect on my wrongdoing over and over again. Once more, I apologise for not being able to apologise to everyone personally," as translated by Korea Herald
So boys and girls, you know the drill. Don't do drugs.
(Update #1: 6 June 2017, 11pm)
T.O.P was reportedly hospitalised due to a drug overdose
after he was found unconscious.
The rapper management agency YG Entertainment has released an official statement regarding his situation, saying that he is currently being treated in the intensive care unit.
The police revealed that he appeared to have overdosed from prescription sedatives which he had consumed on Monday night.
According to Korean media reports, Choi has been regularly taking prescribed sedatives since 2016, even while he was serving in the military.
But this time, he could possibly have consumed more than his regular dosage.
Choi's agency and family members are currently still waiting for the test results from the doctor.
Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.