Prosecutors request arrest warrant for Yoo Ah-in over drug use

Actor Yoo Ah-in answers questions from the local press at the Mapo Police Station on May 24. [NEWS1]

Prosecutors have filed to arrest actor Yoo Ah-in on charges of illegal drug use and others, four months after a court dismissed a request by the police on May 24.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office filed the arrest warrant on Monday. The prosecutors are alleging Yoo tried to hide evidence and help an accomplice flee abroad.

The police handed Yoo's case to the prosecution on June 9.

The news comes six days after the prosecutors last summoned Yoo on Tuesday over charges of illegal drug use.

"We uncovered during the three months of additional investigation [since June] that [Yoo Ah-in] asked his acquaintances to get rid of the evidence during the investigation and also forced others to smoke marijuana in the United States," the prosecution said Monday.

"We also found that he tried to help an accomplice flee overseas and coerced — and threatened — other people to change their statements to cover his crimes. We filed for the warrant once again due to the gravity of his actions aimed at disrupting the justice system."

Yoo, whose real name is Uhm Hong-sik, is charged with the illegal use of seven different drugs: propofol, marijuana, ketamine, cocaine, midazolam and alprazolam.

Propofol, midazolam and alprazolam are all sleep-inducing drugs that must be prescribed by a doctor. Prosecutors allege Yoo bought and used propofol more than 200 times since 2020 and purchased more than 1,000 sleeping pills in other people's names.

Yoo was booked for illegal drug use in February after he tested positive for cannabis and propofol that month. The police questioned Yoo in December.