Man fined for trying to sell BTS’ Jungkook’s lost hat
Man fined for trying to sell BTS’ Jungkook’s lost hat Image Credit: Twitter/@Kpop_Herald

A former foreign service employee in South Korea has been slapped with a 1 million won (Dh2,775) fine by the Seoul Central District Court for attempting to sell K-pop star Jungkook's lost hat online, yesterday.

According to a report by the South Korean news agency, Yonhap, the employee put the BTS member's bucket hat for sale on an online second-hand market for 10 million won (Dh27,739) in October.

He had claimed that the K-pop star had left it at the foreign ministry building in Seoul when he visited to apply for a passport.

BTS and K-pop fans shared news reports on social media.

Twitter user @Joel_P_Atkinson tweeted: “Imagine putting in all those years prepping for the foreign service exam, winning a much-coveted position … then throwing it all away in a reckless attempt to make less than $800 off of Jungkook’s lost hat….”

According to a February 2023 report on the South Korean news website The Korea Herald, the seller reportedly wrote in the online listing that they claimed ownership of the hat after it was reported as lost property following six months without anyone coming forward to claim it.

In his post, he had attached his workplace identity card as proof of authenticity as well.

According to a report on the South Korean entertainment news website, the post soon became controversial and netizens started questioning the propriety of a government employee behaving in such a manner.

The person took down his listings and turned himself in at the Seocho Police Station amid the controversy.

The police told the media that they had wrapped up the investigation in November 2022.

According to multiple news reports, BTS’ label HYBE confirmed to the police that the hat belonged to Jungkook. However, neither the label nor the idol made any public statements on the indictment.

According to South Korean law, anyone who tries to own a lost item illegally or attempts any misinterpretation of it instead of turning it in to the police faces charges.

During the investigation, the accused had admitted to the whole thing and was charged with embezzlement of lost articles. By this time, he was reportedly not affiliated with the ministry anymore.

In February this year, the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office had sought a fine as a punishment for embezzlement charges against the employee. The prosecution also reportedly plans to return the hat to Jungkook, now.