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Latest on investigation; additional crew members arrested

Updated: 2014-04-23 14:06:28 (KST)
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With the investigation into this tragic disaster widening and speeding up, more crew members now find themselves in custody.
For more, we turn to our Laah Hyun-kyung at the news center.
Hyun-kyung.

11 out of the 15 crew members that were on board the sunken ferry are now either detained or arrested.
Among those is the captain -- Captain Lee Joon-suk who is charged with five offenses including negligence of duty and violating ship crew law.
The ship crew law mandates the crew to secure the safety of all passengers in emergency situations.
The joint investigation team composed of prosecutors and police officers are also looking into charging some of the crew with homicide by omission -- that's when INaction of the defendant results in someone's death.
And as we now know, none of the 15 crew members really tried to evacuate the passengers.
They all survived, but many of them have reportedly shown signs of regret -- admitting to their mistakes and saying, in hindsight, they should have taken rescue measures.

And it's not just the crew members that are in prosecutors' sights.
How's the investigation on the ferry's operator -- the Chonghaejin Marine Company progressing?

The special prosecutorial investigative team raided some ten offices and homes of
the practical owner of the operator, Yoo Byung-eon earlier today.
Prosecutors are closely looking into whether Yoo and his two sons, have evaded taxes or embezzled funds by making illegal foreign transactions.
Yoo's two sons are the biggest shareholders of the ferry operator's holding company.
And the Yoo family is said to own assets worth more than 230-million dollars - excluding debt and assets kept outside of the country.
The National Tax Service yesterday also launched a special probe into four firms that are closely working with Chonghaejin Marine Company.
Dozens of personnel including Yoo and the two sons are currently under a travel ban imposed by the prosecution.

And we're getting reports that investigators are planning on running a simulation to determine the cause of the sinking?

That's right, but experts say it will take at least 6 months in order to find out the cause because the ship will have to be salvaged first.
The Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering says basic data including the vessel's floor plans, speed, seating charts will have to be gathered before they build a model ship.
And all of that will only be possible after the ship is recovered from the sea.


Reporter : jlaah@arirang.co.kr

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