Police detain fugitive ferry owner's brother

By 박한나
  • Published : Jun 22, 2014 - 20:29
  • Updated : Jun 22, 2014 - 20:29

Police said Sunday they have detained the younger brother of the fugitive owner of the ill-fated ferry Sewol on charges of breach of trust, the latest in a series of arrests that could put additional pressure on the fugitive.

Yoo Byung-ho, 62, was nabbed inside his home in Daegu, a city about 300 kilometers south of Seoul, police said. He is suspected to have funneled his company's funds to his elder brother's family when he was working as an auditor of one of the family's sprawling businesses, according to the police.

The arrest came a day after police and prosecutors detained the wife of Yoo Byung-eun, the 73-year-old fugitive whose family owns ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Co.

The latest arrest brought to seven the total number of Yoo's family and relatives under detention following the April sinking of the ferry Sewol that left more than 300 people dead.

It was not clear whether the seven would cooperate with police and prosecutors in arresting Yoo Byung-eun and his eldest son, Dae-kyun, who have been at large despite an extensive manhunt.

Investigators suspect that corruption and irregularities by Yoo's family resulted in lax safety practices, such as cargo overloading, and created conditions that ultimately contributed to the tragedy.

Earlier this month, President Park Geun-hye urged police and prosecutors to explore every possible means to capture Yoo Byung-eun -- a religious figure and ex-convict -- to ensure that he be brought to justice. (Yonhap)