The police on Thursday opened a preliminary investigation into a plastic surgery clinic where Lee Boo-jin, the Hotel Shilla CEO and daughter of Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, allegedly received injections of propofol, a short-acting sedative and anesthetic drug.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, the Seoul Gangnam Police Station and public health officials conducted an on-site inspection to check the clinic's drug management procedures amid allegations that Lee took the drug illegally at the clinic in the affluent Cheongdam neighborhood in southern Seoul.
Propofol, which was blamed for the death of US pop icon Michael Jackson, is a powerful sedative used as a general anesthetic. It reduces anxiety but may cause hallucinations. In Korea, it was classified as a psychotropic medicine in 2011 and its use is illegal other than for stipulated medical treatments.
The investigative news outlet Newstapa reported late Wednesday that Lee took the drug at least twice a month at the clinic, citing a former nurse's assistant who worked there between January and October of 2016. The hospital falsified its patient and medical charts so as not to leave any records of her visiting the clinic or taking the drug, according to the report.