Police search Mnet headquarters over audition show’s alleged vote rigging

SEOUL, Police raided the headquarters of CJ ENM Wednesday as part of an investigation into allegations that the entertainment firm's cable music channel rigged the results of its fan-voted idol competition show, Produce 101.

Cyber investigators from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency stormed the program's production office in western Seoul on Wednesday morning to secure related documents and information, according to the police.

At the same time, the police also searched a separate data storage company involved in the show's voting process, the police said.

The search came as the show's fourth season, titled Produce X 101, came under fire for alleged vote fixing.

The final episode of the fourth season, aired on July 19, revealed the lineup of the final 11 winners on the basis of public voting conducted through mobile text messages.

The voting result was immediately called into question as some promising contenders who outperformed rivals throughout the season were eliminated while other dark horse candidates made it to the winner list. Angry fans accused the show of rigging the final vote count, referring to some suspicious numerical patterns shown in the tally of the vote

As many fans warned of their action to file a legal complaint, Mnet, the broadcasting firm, requested a police investigation into the show's chief producer Ahn Joon-young and production staff last Friday.

Based on the data confiscated, (we) will look into the actual vote result and whether it was manipulated, a police official said.

Source: Yonhap news Agency

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