The Incheon District Prosecutors' Office on Wednesday placed the fugitive son of Yoo Byung-eon, the part-time cult leader who owns ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, on the nation's most-wanted list.
Suspects on the list are seen as a flight risk and face immediate arrest upon discovery.
Prosecutors obtained an arrest warrant for Yoo Dae-gyun (44) after he failed to show up for questioning by the 10 a.m. Monday deadline and tried to nab him at his home in southern Seoul on Tuesday morning, but he had fled.
They fear he may attempt to escape from Korea by ship and are checking major ports.
A prosecution spokesman said, "We're not talking about a petty criminal but a man who is the son of a religious leader, renowned artists and major shareholder of multiple businesses. He just fled immediately after being summoned for questioning."
Yoo Byung-eon, who is scheduled to appear for questioning Friday, has also gone into hiding like his four children. Prosecutors summoned him several times, but failed to receive a response and have no idea where he is.
Immediately after the ferry disaster off the southwest coast last month, Yoo, an undischarged bankrupt, disclaimed any business relationship with the operator, but it has since emerged that he is the de-facto owner and chairman.