A group of investigators dispatched by the prosecution forced their way into Geumsuwon, a compound in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province, in a bid to arrest the de facto owner of the sunken ferry Sewol around at 12:10 p.m., Wednesday.
|(The Herald Business)|
The compound is owned by the Salvation Sect, which is allegedly led by former Semo Group chief Yoo Byung-eon. Yoo is suspected of hiding out in the compound, which is being protected by sect members.
In a break from the strong resistance they had been putting up, hundreds of Yoo’s followers stood aside to let about 70 investigators’ entry into the compound.
Earlier in the day, spokespeople for Geumsuwon expressed their willingness to cooperate with prosecutors over the investigation.
Yoo’s followers, however, said their cooperation would be feasible as long as the authorities pave the way for the 73-year-old business tycoon and his followers to recover their “tarnished reputation.”
Investigators are also targeting Yoo’s oldest son Dae-gyun for arrest, as he is suspected of committing a variety of irregularities during his management of some affiliates of Chonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the ill-fated Sewol.
About 1,000 riot policemen are deployed around the compound in preparation for the upcoming raid and possible emergency situation.
The prosecution on Tuesday raised the possibility that Yoo had already covertly left Geumsuwon.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org