Two arrest warrants have been issued for the directors of CJ ENM(Mnet), who took charge of the production of audition shows that select K-pop group members based on the public's votes.
We found out that the main director has admitted to the manipulation of the two out of four seasons of the 'Produce' series.
Our Hong Yong-jae with the details.
Arrest warrants for Mnet's director Ahn and chief director Kim have been made on the night of November 5.
The court stated they considered the importance of the issue and the fact that a large portion of the criminal charges have been explained.
However, the court dismissed arrest warrants for the other director and the entertainment agency executive, as there is no substantial proof to demonstrate their involvement in the case.
Director Ahn, who took charge of the entire production of the audition series, has been arrested on suspicions including fraud and breach of trust; rigging the votes to debut trainees that are under specific agencies for some monetary compensation.
[Mnet Director Ahn: (Do you admit to the vote-rigging suspicions?) I will diligently answer the questions.]
Police have found that starting from the second half of last year, Ahn has been treated over 40 times at adult entertainment establishments in Gangnam-gu, paid for by agency representatives.
The total amount spent for this is said to be over 100 million won (approx. 86,000 dollars).
It has been said that Ahn admitted to the suspicions of manipulating the final rankings of 'Produce X 101' and 'Produce 48' during his police questioning.
However, he denied the suspicions of manipulation of the first and second seasons of the 'Produce' series.
The police conducted additional search and seizure of another agency that houses a trainee whose ranking is suspected of having been manipulated.
They plan to extend the probe into more audition programs produced by Mnet, in order to find out more cases of vote-rigging.
▶ [단독] 프로듀스 안 모 PD "시즌 3 · 4 투표 조작 인정"
(Video Journalist: Bae Moon-san, Video Editor: Hwang Ji-young, Lee Eunkyoung)