South Korean, Linked to Ferry, Denied Asylum

Posted by Joseph Keefe
Tuesday, June 03, 2014

A South Korean businessman and Christian sect leader, wanted on charges tied to a ferry disaster in which more than 300 passengers drowned, sought asylum at a Seoul embassy but was rejected, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Yoo Byung-un, 73, is wanted on charges of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion stemming from his control of a web of business interests centred on an investment firm owned by his sons that owned the operator of the doomed Sewol that sank on April 16.

"By international law, Yoo Byung-un is not a refugee but is a fugitive with an arrest warrant outstanding, so anyone who helps him flee will be deemed to be aiding his escape and will be firmly punished," a prosecutor said.

A person acting for Yoo contacted an embassy and asked about the possibility of Yoo seeking political asylum, he said.

He was turned down. Prosecutors declined to disclose which embassy was contacted by Yoo's representative, or if there were others.

The Sewol, overloaded and travelling too fast on a turn, capsized and sank on a routine journey from Incheon on the mainland to the vacation island of Jeju.

Most of the 476 passengers were children and teachers from the same school on the outskirts of Seoul. Divers are searching for 16 missing bodies.

The captain and surviving crew members were caught on video escaping the sinking ship while the children, wearing life jackets, stayed put in their cabins, as they had been told, awaiting further orders.

Authorities have offered a reward of half a million dollars for information leading to Yoo's arrest but he and his first son have eluded a massive manhunt that included a search of a religious commune south of Seoul where Yoo once had a photography studio. The second son is in the United States.

Prosecutors believe the Yoos are responsible for business decisions related to the renovation of the ferry and its operation that led to the country's worst maritime disaster in 20 years.

All 15 surviving crew members of the Sewol have been charged. The captain and three senior crew members face homicide charges. Nine crew were indicted for negligence and two on the lesser charge of abandoning the vessel.


Reporting by Ju-min Park

Maritime Reporter August 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Wärtsilä Scrubbers for Finnlines Vessels

Finnlines, a Ro-Ro and passenger vessel operator with services in the North and Baltic Seas, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three vessels with exhaust cleaning scrubber systems.

Passenger Vessels

Carnival Ramping Up in New Orleans

Carnival on track for record year from Port of New Orleans in 2015; expects to embark 3 millionth passenger post-Katrina next year   New Orleans’ number one cruise

Wärtsilä Scrubbers for Finnlines Vessels

Finnlines, a Ro-Ro and passenger vessel operator with services in the North and Baltic Seas, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three vessels with exhaust cleaning scrubber systems.

MN 100: Blount Boats, Inc.

The Company: Over time, the Blount shipyard has built 363 vessels, including such iconic designs as the 130-foot, 600-passenger Miss Liberty. Built in 1952, the

Coast Guard

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Sunken Towboat Lifted from Neches River

A towboat that sank in Texas' Neches River August 21, and caused a temporary closure of the waterway, was lifted out of the water Wednesday Evening. T&T Marine,

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Maritime Safety

Man Earns Jail Time for Hoax Coast Guard Calls

A man found guilty of making numerous hoax calls to the U.K. Coastguard has been jailed for four months, the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) reported.

Tropical Storm Erika Heads for Florida

Tropical Storm Erika lashed Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with heavy rain and fierce winds on Friday, moving across the Caribbean and apparently heading for the Dominican Republic,

ClassNK to Issue Guidance on Composite Propellers

Classification society ClassNK announced it will release the world’s first Guidelines on Composite Propellers (Part on Manufacturing/Product Inspection) on August 31.

Government Update

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Migrant Boat Sinks off Libya; 200 Feared Dead

A boat packed with mainly African migrants bound for Italy sank off the Libyan coast on Thursday and officials said up to 200 might have died. A security official in the western town of Zuwara,

Oil Steadies as Equities Rally

Recovering stock markets boost oil prices; U.S. crude on track for first weekly gain in nine weeks. Oil prices steadied on Friday after bouncing back from six-and-a-half-year

Ferries

Wärtsilä Scrubbers for Finnlines Vessels

Finnlines, a Ro-Ro and passenger vessel operator with services in the North and Baltic Seas, has contracted Wärtsilä to supply three vessels with exhaust cleaning scrubber systems.

MN 100: Blount Boats, Inc.

The Company: Over time, the Blount shipyard has built 363 vessels, including such iconic designs as the 130-foot, 600-passenger Miss Liberty. Built in 1952, the

USCG Plans to Up Passenger Boat Enforcement

Coast Guard to step up enforcement of passenger boats along Florida’s coast, reminds passengers to “Ask the Captain”   The U.S. Coast Guard and partner agencies

Insurance

MN 100: Gencorp Insurance Group

The Company: Gencorp Insurance Group provides the Insurance and Surety needs of Marine Contractors, Vessel Operators and Shipyards throughout the country and Caribbean.

Mariners Dread Port Calls

Seafarer social media site Crewtoo, part of KVH Industries, Inc., has published the results of its second Crewtoo Seafarers Happiness Index report detailing job satisfaction at sea.

Coast Guard Responds to Delaware River Grounding

The Coast Guard is overseeing salvage efforts Tuesday for a motor vessel aground on the Delaware River. The 328-foot Netherlands-flagged motor vessel, Bermuda Islander,

P&I Clubs

Iranian Ship, Crew Escape Captivity off Somali Coast

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it

Coast Guard Responds to Delaware River Grounding

The Coast Guard is overseeing salvage efforts Tuesday for a motor vessel aground on the Delaware River. The 328-foot Netherlands-flagged motor vessel, Bermuda Islander,

Maritime Tribunal Rejects Plea to Free Italy's Marines

An international maritime tribunal on Monday rejected Italy's request that India provisionally release two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen, a setback

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.3961 sec (3 req/sec)