But Yoo Byung-un, 73, a businessman and photographer, is still on
the run, eluding one of the country's biggest and most bizarre
manhunts for more than a month, centred on a huge church sect
compound south of Seoul. [ID:nL4N0OT3MC]
His elder brother, Yoo Byung-il, was arrested near the leafy
compound in Anseong, where police are checking all passing vehicles
Yoo Byung-un's daughter, Yoo Som-Na, has been held in France since
May 28 after Interpol called for her arrest "for fraud and
embezzlement". She was denied bail on Wednesday
Yoo Byung-un is wanted on charges of embezzlement, negligence and
tax evasion stemming from a web of business holdings centred on
I-One-I, an investment vehicle owned by his sons that ran the
shipping company, Chonghaejin Marine.
Chonghaejin owned the Sewol, which sank off the southwest coast on
April 16 killing more than 300 people, many of them school children,
on a routine journey from Incheon on the mainland to the southern
holiday island of Jeju.
Yonhap news agency said the brother received monthly consulting fees
from Chonghaejin and was arrested on charges of embezzlement and
fraud-related real estate deals. Prosecutors have not disclosed the
Reuters was unable to verify the report independently.
"DEER, BIRDS AND FIREFLIES"
Police this week raided the Evangelical Baptist Church compound for
the second time as they tried to flush out Yoo, who is also the
sect's co-founder, combing its grounds for two days with earth
movers and sniffer dogs.
On Friday, the religious group invited journalists into the grounds,
accusing police and prosecution officials of exceeding terms of
their search warrant and damaging private property.
"The deer, birds and fireflies were likely startled, and there is
damage everywhere," group spokesman Cho Kye-ung said.
Sect members grow organic produce and run fresh water fish farms.
Yoo is believed to have had a large office on the compound that
included a photography studio.
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Authorities have detained a middle-aged female sect member who is
accused of helping him escape after she turned herself in on Friday.
The police are still looking for another one of the key middle-aged
female sect members known as "mamas."
The news briefing was held in a building called "Cleopatra" where
Cho said Yoo Byung-il had been "coming to work" on the compound
"This is not some religious place as people keep saying. It is a
place of life and work for us," he said, after about 100 followers
Police believe Yoo Byung-un and one of his sons are still in South
Korea. Another son is based in the United States but his whereabouts
could not be established by Reuters.
South Korea's Ministry of Security and Public Administration will
distribute wanted posters of Yoo Byung-un and his son, a spokesman
for the ministry said.
Of the 476 passengers and crew on board the Sewol, 339 were children
and teachers from the same school. Only 172 people were rescued and
the remainder are all presumed to have drowned in South Korea's
worst civilian maritime disaster in 20 years.
Fifteen members of the ferry's crew are on trial on charges ranging
from homicide to negligence after they were caught on video
abandoning ship as the children stayed put in their cabins.
(Additional reporting by Sohee Kim; Writing by James Pearson and
Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)
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