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Sunken ferry owner’s daughter detained in France

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Published : 2014-05-27 19:30
Updated : 2014-05-27 21:36

A policeman hands out posters of the wanted Yoo Byung-eon and his eldest son Dae-gyun to passersby in downtown Seoul on Monday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

French law enforcement authorities on Tuesday arrested the oldest daughter of Yoo Byung-eon, the de facto owner of the sunken ferry Sewol, after the Korean police filed an Interpol red notice against two of the irregularity-ridden business tycoon’s four children last Friday.

Yoo’s daughter Som-na has been suspected of being paid shady funds from an affiliate of Chonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the ill-fated Sewol, when she was the chief of a design firm.

After the extradition process, local investigators are expected to indict the 48-year-old suspect for pocketing company funds via alleged under-the-table deals with her father and family.

Som-na has refused to respond to summons from the prosecution until now.

The “red notice,” or internationally wanted persons alert, was also issued for Yoo’s second son Hyuk-gi.

Investigators are conducting a full-fledged search for the children’s father, who was under suspicion of engaging in a variety of business malfeasances and glossing over critical problems with the stability of the refurbished Sewol vessel.

By Kim Yon-se (

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