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Prosecutors continue probe into ferry owner's driver

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Published : 2014-07-30 13:59
Updated : 2014-07-30 13:59

Prosecutors continued their investigation Wednesday into the driver of the sunken ferry Sewol's owner over suspicions of helping his employer evade a massive manhunt.

Yang Hoe-jeong, 55, the chauffeur of Yoo Byung-eun, turned himself in to the prosecution a day earlier. The surrender came a week after Yoo, a billionaire who owned the Sewol ferry, was confirmed dead.

The Incheon District Prosecutors' Office said Yang underwent questioning for the second day mainly over whether he provided a hiding place for the fugitive Yoo or knew what happened in the final days of Yoo's life.

After his surrender on Tuesday, Yang told prosecutors that he saw his boss at a vacation home in Suncheon, about 415 kilometers south of Seoul, on May 24 for the last time, and he heard the news of Yoo's death only after the media reported it.

Since their last meeting, Yang didn't contact his boss, according to the officials.

The 73-year-old tycoon had been the target of the months-long manhunt on multiple charges of corruption in business operations as he pursued profit at the expense of passenger safety, ultimately

causing the April 16 accident that claimed over 300 lives.  

The body of Yoo was first found on June 12 in a plum farm. The cause of Yoo's death and how his body ended up at the farm, located near his vacation home in the same city, were not known.

Prosecutors had expected that the driver might have been able to provide some answers to the questions.  

Last week, the police arrested Yoo's eldest son and his female bodyguard who had been hiding out at a studio near Seoul.

On Tuesday, the driver's wife and another woman who played a major role in helping the dead boss evade capture, turned themselves in before being interrogated and sent home on the same day. 

Many of the senior Yoo's other family members, including his wife and elder brother, have been arrested since the ferry disaster on embezzlement charges.

Yoo's daughter, Som-na, is fighting an extradition bid from Paris, and his second son, Hyuk-ki, is also wanted on corruption charges but is hiding abroad. (Yonhap)

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