Police transfer Sewol owner’s body to his family

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Aug 25, 2014 - 20:04
  • Updated : Aug 25, 2014 - 20:04
Police on Monday handed over the body of a billionaire, who owned a ferry that sank in southern waters and led to the loss of about 300 lives, to his family.

The move came as police have effectively completed a probe into the mysterious death of Yoo Byung-eun, former chairman of Semo Group, the now-defunct predecessor of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine Co.

The body of 73 year-old Yoo was found in a green-plum field just outside Suncheon, about 450 kilometers south of Seoul, in June, amid a nationwide manhunt that went on for months since the April 16 tragedy.

Yoo was the prime target of an intensive investigation into alleged corruption and other irregularities associated with the sinking of the 6,825-ton ferry Sewol. More than 300 people, mostly high school students, were killed or still missing.

He was found dead in mid-June, but police failed to discover the exact cause of his death.

“His body, which had been placed at the National Forensic Service, was handed over to the bereaved family at around 6:10 p.m.,” said an official at Sunscheon Police Station.

A Christian sect co-founded by Yoo placed his body inside Geumsuwon, its headquarters in Anseong, about 80 kilometers south of Seoul, and it plans to hold a two-day funeral from Saturday, according to sources.

The Evangelical Baptist Church, widely known as the Salvation Sect, however, has yet to release any official information on the body’s takeover or the funeral. (Yonhap)