South Korean actor Lee Jong-suk flies back home after being detained in Jakarta

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – South Korean Secret Garden actor Lee Jong-suk has returned home after being detained in Jakarta, Indonesia, for about two days.

Lee visited Jakarta last Saturday (Nov 3) as a part of his fan meet-up tour, which included visits to Japan in August, and Taiwan and Thailand in September.

He was scheduled to board a plane for South Korea on Sunday, but Lee and his team were not granted departure.

The actor’s detainment in Jakarta was made public through an Instagram post he put up on Monday, which read: “All of (the) staff members and I are currently tied up in Jakarta. We’ve been detained since yesterday.” The post has since been deleted.

Lee’s agency A-man Project offered an update on the situation through an official statement issued early on Tuesday morning.

“Lee Jong-suk’s scheduled return to South Korea has been delayed due to the inept business handling by the management and (the local branch of the event organiser) Yes 24. Fortunately, the actor is currently aboard the plane home with the help of the Indonesian Embassy,” read the statement.

The statement attributed the reason for the detainment to Yes 24’s illicit business activities, which included default on tax payment and failure to acquire an employment visa.

It also said the local contractor failed to provide a consistent explanation for the situation.

“We were first informed Yes 24 was detained by the local tax authorities for unpaid taxes, a process during which the passports of the actor and staff were confiscated,” it said. “However, it was reported in local news hours later that Yes 24 did not apply for a short-term employment visa.”

A-man Project announced that legal action would be taken through the law firm Yulchon based in Seoul’s southern district of Gangnam.

“The agency will take legal action through Yulchon and the lawyer in charge against the management and local promoter. All legal measures will be settled through (the law firm),” it said, apologising for “causing concern”.

Lee was the youngest male model to walk the runway at the Seoul Fashion Week in 2005. The model transitioned onscreen in 2010, landing major roles in the TV series Prosecutor Princess and in the horror film Ghost. As an actor, he saw his breakthrough with the hit series Secret Garden, which aired from end-2010 to early 2011.

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