It was at this rest stop where one of Korea's most wanted men, was last seen.
Prosecutors have confirmed that Yoo Byung-eun, the de facto owner of the sunken Sewol-ho ferry was here in the city of Suncheon about 400 kilometers south of Seoul up until a few days ago.
The married owners of a restaurant and guesthouse here have been detained on suspicion of helping Yoo evade arrest.
Police have also arrested at least three others for hindering the hunt for Yoo.
Police say all those in custody are members of the "Salvation Sect," which is a religious cult led by the ferry owner.
With the latest developments, authorities now believe they are very close to finding Yoo.
They say he's no longer in Suncheon, but they do believe he's still hiding out somewhere in southern Korea, in Jeollanam-do province, because his children and several members of his cult are known to own land and businesses there.
In the meantime prosecutors have dramatically increased the cash reward for anyone with information on Yoo's whereabouts.
Officials have upped their bounty from 50-thousand to 500-thousand U.S. dollars-- which is the highest amount Korean authorities have ever offered in such a case.
The cash reward for information on his eldest son, Yoo Dae-gyun, has also gone up from 30-thousand to nearly a 100-thousand dollars.
Connie Lee, Arirang News.
In the latest development,.. police have arrested another member of the religious cult, this time a woman in her 30s who was with Yoo Byung-eun when he slipped out of his compound last week.
The female,.. identified by her family name Shin, is believed to have been with Yoo as recently as this past weekend.
She is currently being questioned about Yoo' current whereabouts.
kurtisws (USA) 2014-05-27 23:19:35 KST
South Korean Government is really trying hard to find a scapegoat. $500k??? Seriously? For some businessman who wasn't the captain on board the ship, wasn't the manager of that ferry company, not the director, and doesn't even own stocks. So his sons have stocks of the company. I don't see how that benefits him. Also, if anyone else owns stock of that ferry company, should they also be put in jail since they are 'owners' of the company?