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 June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Thai Resort Owners Sue State Owned Company for Oil Spill

Business owners on Koh Samet island are suing a state-owned petroleum enterprise for the oil spill that polluted the resort island's beaches last year. More than 50,

Nigerian Piracy Threatens UK Interests: New Report

The UK economy is heavily exposed to lawlessness off the coast of Nigeria, a new report published today by the UK Chamber of Shipping says. The report found that almost all of the UK’s annual £6.

Maine Port City Bans Oil Loading

City councilors in South Portland, Maine, voted late Monday night to ban the loading of crude oil onto tankers along its waterfront, throwing up yet another roadblock

Coast Guard

USCG Rescues Woman from Detroit River

The Coast Guard rescued a 30-year-old woman from the Detroit River late Sunday evening after she was reported to have fallen overboard when the vessel she was on was struck by another boat's wake.

Sunken WW II Ship Oil Leak Plugged

Atlantic Coast Marine Group, Inc. successfully responds to World War II era motor tanker leaking massive cargo of oil into the Atlantic Ocean's waters. Beaufort,

Pier Damaged at Port Canaveral

Undergoing Repairs While Coast Guard Investigates   The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a weekend incident that caused pier damage and scattered concrete debris in the harbor on Sunday.

Maritime Safety

Costa Concordia: Operations to Tow the Wreck Begin

Maneouvres began early on Wednesday to remove the rusty hulk of the Costa Concordia cruise liner from the Italian island where it struck rocks and capsized two years ago, killing 32 people.

Nigerian Piracy Threatens UK Interests: New Report

The UK economy is heavily exposed to lawlessness off the coast of Nigeria, a new report published today by the UK Chamber of Shipping says. The report found that almost all of the UK’s annual £6.

USCG Rescues Woman from Detroit River

The Coast Guard rescued a 30-year-old woman from the Detroit River late Sunday evening after she was reported to have fallen overboard when the vessel she was on was struck by another boat's wake.

Government Update

Suicide Attack Escalates Libya Violence, Oil Output Slips

Crude output slips for first time since port deal; fresh clashes in Tripoli and Benghazi. Brega oil port seen open in few days. A twin suicide bombing at a Libyan

Ireland Ratifies the MLC

Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe TD and the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, today announced

OSRO: The Child of Necessity

Most people in the maritime industry in the United States are familiar with the concept of the Oil Spill Removal Organization (OSRO).  It is one of the many quiet

Ferries

Korea Ferry Businessman's Body Located

Yoo had been target of South Korea's largest manhunt; Failure of police to catch Yoo had been burden for Park government. The body of South Korea's most wanted man,

South Korea Police: Body May Be Ferry Disaster Fugitive's

South Korean police are trying to confirm the identity of a body they believe may have been the fugitive head of the family that owned the operator of a ferry that capsized in April,

Canadian Ferries Welcome Govt. Funding

The Canadian Ferry Operators Association (CFOA) welcomed today’s announcement of $58 million over two years to support ferries in Eastern Canada. “We are happy

 
 
Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | 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: 0.0892 sec (11 req/sec)