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SAT, 2014-10-25  KST

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Prosecutors enter religious compound in search of sunken ferry owner

Updated: 2014-05-21 13:55:47 KST
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We begin with the latest in the prosecution's probe into last month's ferry disaster that killed more than three-hundred people.
Prosecutors and police entered a religious compound in Gyeonggi-do province at around noon today, where the de facto owner of the sunken ferry operator was believed to be hiding out.
For more, we're joined by Park Ji-won from the news center. Hi, Jiwon.

Conn-young, prosecutors and police finally made their way into the reglious compound in Anseong, Gyeonggi-do province about four hours ago, to execute an arrest warrant for Yoo Byung-eun, the practical owner of the Sewol-ho ferry operator.
Hundreds of members of Yoo's religious cult, who have been surrounding the estate for the past few days as human shields, allowed only investigating prosecutors in.
About a thousand police have been deployed to the scene to keep the peace.
Investigators searching for the 73-year old Yoo inside the 230-thousand square-meter compound have seen no sign of him, and they suspect he may be hiding elsewhere, like at the home of one of his believers.
So they've begun zeroing in on the homes of his believers and are conducting undercover operations to find Yoo.
Prosecutors are also trying to find evidence inside the compound in relation to criminal charges against the Yoo family, as they've been granted a search and seizure warrant.
Wednesday's operation came after Yoo had ignored previous orders by prosecutors to show up for questioning over embezzlement, tax evasion and malpractice charges.
The authorities believe there may be some causal link there with the ferry operator's lack of investment in safety drills and personnel management.

And Jiwon, prosecutors are also executing an arrest warrant for Yoo's first son Dae-gyun. Tell us about that.

Yes, Conn-young.
Prosecutors are also trying to arrest Yoo Dae-gyun, the first son of Yoo Byung-eun, on charges of tax evasion and embezzlement of funds from company affiliates owned by the Yoo family.
He was seen at Incheon International Airport buying a one-way ticket to France, just three days after the ferry accident happened last month, however as he was already banned from travel by the authorities, he didn't get on board a plane.
Since then, his whereabouts have been unknown.
Regarding Yoo's other children staying in foreign countries, who haven't responded to prosecutors' orders for questionings, the authorities are trying to get them extradited through cooperation with other countries.

Thanks for your report. Jiwon.


Reporter : jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr

Comments

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bartektodde (USA) 2014-05-25    

@ usafriend, Police went to the religious compound looking for Yoo Byung-eun
(유 병 은). Not to persecute the church.

fatboyme (USA) 2014-05-21    

What a mess.

usafriend (USA) 2014-05-21    

Dear Korean Friends. I am so sad at the tragedy and events that followed here in Korea. Such a sad loss. Such a tragedy. However, I find the emotional reaction to the nations grief a bit disturbing. It was an accident, Its a Great tragedy. There was negligence and there is certainly fault. your justice should be allow to do its job and proper investigation should be performed. any guilty party should be prosecuted by your laws. However, What I am seeing and feeling is more of a witch hunt mentality. Persecution of a church which has nothing to do with the accident is sad and wrong. Korean People are better than this... follow your laws... Bring the guilty to justice... BUT... leave the church folk alone. Korea is not a third world country. Korea has freedom of religion... Right?