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Police, prosecution under fire for failed ferry fugitive manhunt

Updated: 2014-07-23 20:05:06 (KST)
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Yoo Byung-eun's body was first brought to the attention of police in Korea's southwestern city of Suncheon on June 12th.
The location is critical as this was the last place the 73-year-old fugitive was seen alive at the end of May.
The city and its surrounding areas had been the focal point of the manhunt, but despite this, police failed to consider the body might be that of Yoo Byung-eun.
Police say they couldn't make the seemingly simple connection because the body had already severely decomposed, and it was proving hard to recover fingerprints.
It doesn't stop there, however, as there are other factors adding to the criticism that the police wasted precious time and resources searching for a dead man..
The body was wearing expensive Italian jacket, and had a cloth bag with the phrase "Love like a Dream" stitched on it, which is the title of Yoo's book.
Since the identity of the body was confirmed to be Yoo, the head of the local police station which first received word about the body has been relieved of his duties.
Prosecutor General Kim Jin-tae has also ordered an investigation into why it took nearly 40 days to confirm Yoo's identity, and on whether there were any problems in the process.
The lack of police-prosecutor coordination is also coming in for criticism.
Prosecutors re-issued an arrest warrant for Yoo on Monday, after the previous 6-month warrant expired.
However it wasn't until Tuesday that news broke that the police found the body, meaning prosecutors didn't know about its existence until Monday.
Meanwhile, the nation's financial authority has begun proceedings to impose massive penalties against several finaAftncial institutions and dozens of executives and company officials who had granted bad loans to the Yoo family or his ailing companies.
The Financial Supervisory Service has just completed its special investigation on some 30 institutions,.. and the penalties will be dished out in the fall.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.

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And prosecutors today revealed that a close aide to the billionaire said the shipping tycoon narrowly evaded authorities by hiding in a secret closet when police and prosecutors raided his vacation home back in May.
The house sits about 2.5 kilometers from where Yoo's body was found a few weeks later.


Reporter : jiwonpark@arirang.co.kr

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