Choi Jonghoon Leaves FTISLAND Amid Allegations of Police Corruption & Favoritism

Choi Jonghoon of FTISLAND performs at Best Buy Theater on January 28, 2015 in New York City.
Photo by Bobby Bank/Getty Images

Choi Jonghoon of FTISLAND performs at Best Buy Theater on January 28, 2015 in New York City.

FNC Entertainment announced today (March 14) that FTISLAND’s guitarist Choi Jonghoon will leave the band amid allegations of his benefiting from police corruption and favoritism.

Choi is the latest South Korean star involved in related investigations surrounding a series of chat conversations that began to be made public at the end of last month, revealing a wide array of illicit activities among multiple Korean entertainers.

Earlier this week former BIGBANG member Seungri and singer Jung Joonyoung came under investigation over sex crime allegations, and on Wednesday (March 13) Choi was revealed to have potentially benefited from police favoritism. On Thursday, FNC released a statement to Korean media announcing his departure from the band and adhere to a legal investigation.

According to the Korea Herald, a chat conversation disclosed Wednesday (March 13) showed a series of exchanges that alleged a high-ranking police official had rid Choi of evidence of a 2016 drunk driving accident, preventing media coverage. Shortly after it became a topic of interest, South Korea’s National Police Agency Commissioner General Min Gap-ryong announced an internal investigation into the claims.

The chatroom conversations began circulating at the end of last month following weeks of investigation by local Korean media outlets and legal forces into claims of illegal activity and violence taking place at the Gangnam-area club Burning Sun, at which Seungri had a position as public relations director. This week has seen Seungri, Jung, and Yong Junhyung, formerly of HIGHLIGHT, leave their careers and submit to police investigations in relation to the allegations, as revealed through the chats, of sexual bribery, and illegally filming and sharing content in sexual situations with women without their knowledge.