News / Asia

South Korea Police: Body of Fugitive Ferry Owner Found

A man watches a TV news program on the reward poster of Yoo Byung-un at the Seoul Train Station in South Korea,  May 26, 2014.
A man watches a TV news program on the reward poster of Yoo Byung-un at the Seoul Train Station in South Korea, May 26, 2014.
VOA News

South Korean police said on Tuesday that a body found last month in the south of the country was that of a fugitive businessman who headed the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 people, many of them high school students.

Police said a badly decomposed body found lying in a field near the city of Suncheon on June 12 had been identified by DNA evidence as well as fingerprints as that of Yoo Byung-un, the subject of the country's largest manhunt.

Yoo was the patriarch of the family behind Chonghaejin Marine Co., which owned and operated the Sewol ferry. It sank on April 16 with 476 people on board, including 325 high school children.

He was accused of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion.

Yoo had been the target of an unprecedented, months-long manhunt involving tens of thousands of police officers and army troops who set up checkpoints on roads and at ports. They raided a number of properties linked to the reclusive billionaire.

A summons was issued for Yoo shortly after the ferry sank, but he refused to surrender to police and eventually went on the run.

A reward of 500 million won ($490,000) was offered for information leading to his capture, and 100 million won for that of his eldest son, Yoo Dae-Kyun. He is still at large.

Many of Yoo's family members have been arrested, including his wife and his brother. A daughter is fighting an extradition bid from Paris.

No cause of death

Suncheon police chief Woo Hyung-Ho said at a news conference that the body found last month was too decomposed to ascertain the cause of death, although several empty bottles of alcohol were found at the scene. A book written by Yoo was also found nearby.

Police said the announcement had been delayed as forensic investigation on DNA takes 40 days, but acknowledged that the probe "wasn't perfect" given the items found next to the body.

The body was transferred from Suncheon to the National Forensic Service in Seoul.

The announcement came less than 24 hours after prosecutors apologized for failing to capture Yoo when they announced interim results of their investigation into the country's worst maritime disaster in 20 years.

They made no mention on Monday that a body suspected of being Yoo's had been found.

The sinking, one of South Korea's deadliest disasters in decades, has caused an outpouring of national grief, and the country is undergoing national soul searching about public safety. About 100 days after the disaster, 294 dead bodies have been retrieved but 10 people are still missing.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters, AFP and AP.

You May Like

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ed from: USA
July 22, 2014 12:27 AM
Maybe Putin and the head of the Ukrainian separatists should go this route!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid