Dead man found in Suncheon could be ferry owner

July 21, 2014
(YTN screen capture)

(YTN screen capture)

GWANGJU (Yonhap) — Police have found the body of a man believed to be the fugitive owner of the sunken ferry Sewol, officials said Tuesday (KST) in Korea.

The body was found on June 12 at a plum field in the southern city of Suncheon, about 300 km south of Seoul. A DNA test was conducted to identify the body and the results showed that it could be that of Yoo Byung-eun, the 73-year-old billionaire who owns ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Co.

The body’s DNA matched that of Yoo’s arrested older brother, officials said.

“We carried out a DNA test after finding a dead body in Suncheon, and the results fairly matched that of Yoo’s brother,” a police official said. “We need to look more closely into this, but the body is believed to be Yoo’s.”

A senior prosecution official also said that the prosecution and police are looking into the case.

Yoo has been on the run since the ferry Sewol sank on April 16 and claimed more than 300 lives.

Yoo is wanted for a string of corruption charges and irregularities that are believed to have caused the ferry to sink. His first arrest warrant, issued on May 22, is set to expire on Tuesday.