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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Secret Service Head: White House Security Lapse 'Unacceptable'

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid