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Dead Sewol ferry owner identified in South Korea

July 22, 2014, 9:22 UTC+3
Billionaire Yoo Byung-eun was hiding from the authorities; his body was found on a field in the southern part of the country June 12
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South Korean TV shows pictures of Yoo Byung-eun

South Korean TV shows pictures of Yoo Byung-eun

© AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

TOKYO, July 22. /Vasily Golovnin for ITAR-TASS/. The South Korean police have announced that it conclusively identified the body of the actual owner of the Sewol passenger ferry that sank April 16. The body was found in June. The billionaire was hiding from the authorities after the tragic accident that led to more than 300 casualties.

At a news conference in Seoul, a police spokesperson reported that the body was identified by means of genetic and fingerprint probes. DNA samples taken from the brother of billionaire Yoo Byung-eun were used for this purpose. The tycoon’s body was discovered on a field in the southern part of the country on June 12. Police doesn’t report about the causes of his death, but there are no signs of murder.

Yoo Byung-eun was a founder of a protestant religious sect that had fanatic followers in South Korea. Together with his relatives and confidants, he also controlled a complex chain of enterprises, which, the police believe, were used for financial frauds.

Through these structures, Yoo Byung-eun actually owned the company, to which the sunken ferry belonged. The investigation believes that illegal changes in the ferry’s framework and improper operation became the causes of the tragedy. According to the police, Yoo Byung-eun and his confidants bear the responsibility for the tragedy.

The 15 crew members of Sewol ferry were also arrested, as the tycoon’s wife and other five members of his family, including his elder brother. Yoo Byung-eun’s elder son remains on wanted list. A reward of $100 thousand has been announced for the information on his whereabouts.

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