South Korean soloist BoA was recently quizzed by the prosecution for her alleged drug smuggling. Her agency, SM Entertainment, claimed that it was a mistake of its employee in Japan. Photo courtesy of SM Entertainment

K-pop star’s agency claims it’s a mistake

K-pop star BoA was recently quizzed by the prosecution over allegations of drug smuggling, her agency SM Entertainment acknowledged in a statement.

SM Entertainment acknowledged there were some problems, but the Seoul-based music label claimed that it was not intentional wrongdoing.

The 34-year-old soloist is accused of illegally bringing in psychotropic drugs, including zolpidem, from Japan under the name of an SM Entertainment worker.

Zolpidem is a prescription drug, which induces sleep. Importing the drug through unauthorized routes is prohibited in Korea, and violators can be subject to jail terms.

SM Entertainment contended that its employee made a mistake in Japan _ the employee just tried to help BoA as she suffered from side effects from prescribed sleeping pills in Korea.

SM said that BoA used Japanese drugs in the past without any side effects, so that the employee at issue tried to get them for the sake of BoA.

“It is true that an employee of our overseas office sent drugs without going through due procedures. But it was not an illegal attempt, but a mistake,” SM said.

“The employee legally received the drugs at a local hospital but was not aware that even the drugs prescribed properly abroad could cause problems in Korea.”

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office will decide whether to indict BoA.

After debuting in 2000, at the age of 14, BoA became one of the most successful Korean entertainers to get the moniker of the “Queen of K-pop.”

Recently, she came up with an album to celebrate the 20th anniversary of her debut.

Kevin Chung studied literature in Seoul. He is interested in various areas. He can be reached at or 82-2-6956-6698.