Investigators are conducting a full-fledged manhunt for fugitive Yoo Byung-eun’s eldest son, Dae-kyoon, in Ulsan and South Gyeongsang Province, according to the prosecution on Sunday.
Yoo, the owner of the sunken ferry Sewol, and his son have been put on the nation’s most wanted list. The prosecution has reinforced its investigative manpower in the Gyeongsang region as it obtained the intelligence that one of Yoo Dae-kyoon’s aides, a woman in her 30s, recently bought some goods at a store in Ulsan.
The woman, surnamed Park, has allegedly been accompanying Dae-kyoon during his escape. She is known to be a daughter of Shin Myung-hee, a key leader of the Salvation Sect, which is led by the 73-year-old Sewol owner.
The 64-year-old Shin, who has been called “mother Shin” by the devotees of the religious sect, gave herself up to the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office in June. Later, an Incheon court issued an arrest warrant to take her into custody.
The prosecution and police, which put Park on the nation’s most wanted list on July 15, has dispatched about 400 investigators to raid lodges and offices in Ulsan and the metropolitan city’s outskirts.
While Yoo’s wife, Kwon Yoon-ja, two brothers and some in-laws were detained for engaging in business malfeasance, the prosecution has yet to arrest Yoo and his two sons, including the second son Hyuk-kee, despite a series of raids on various spots nationwide and coordination with foreign law enforcement agencies for two months.
As the warrant for Yoo, which was issued by the Incheon District Court on May 22, expires on July 22, the prosecution is poised to ask the court to issue another arrest warrant for him.
Investigators said the move comes as the prosecution believes the ferry owner is still hiding somewhere in the nation. Usually, the prosecution halts its effort to indict a suspect if the person is believed to have fled abroad.
By Kim Yon-se (firstname.lastname@example.org)