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Following reports of a recent attempt to buy illegal drugs, B.I, from the K-pop group iKON, announced he is leaving the boy band. He claimed he had an interest in doing them as he was going through a tough time back in 2016, but never actually used them. Korean tabloid magazine, Dispatch, reported that B.I was caught attempting to purchase marijuana and LSD in 2016, but the police did not investigate him.

B.I (neé Kim Hanbin) was iKON’s leader and consistently took part in composing iKON music. Upset fans have now created a petition calling for the singer to be reinstated to the band. It’s titled, “HANBIN SHOULDN'T HAVE TO LEAVE IKON.” The summary of the petition states: “Hanbin was accused by Dispatch of 2016 drug use on June 11, 2019. There has been an official statement released, informing us that YG Entertainment orders drug tests almost every month from the United States and none of the iKON members, including Hanbin, tested positive. Please get this out for Hanbin or YG Entertainment to see!”

iKON fans desperately want Hanbin to stay as they claim he never actually did anything wrong. In its first nine hours live, the petition attracted over 350,000 signatures. Illegal drug use is a serious offense in South Korea and can carry sentences of up to five years in prison.

B.I had previously apologized for his actions and announced his departure from the group in a statement on Instagram:

“First, I would like to sincerely apologize for stirring up any trouble due to my tremendously inappropriate actions. It is true that I wanted to rely on something that I shouldn't have had any interest in due to going through a hard and painful time. However, I was too scared and fearful to do it,” he said.

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