Journalist Given Tour of Ferry Owner's Cult Compound

A cult led by ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon on Sunday showed journalists around part of the sect's compound in Anseong south of Seoul where he is believed to be hiding. But cult members refused them access to the main buildings in the sprawling 260,000 sq.m compound.

Reporters could only catch glimpses of the exterior of a building Yoo is said to have used as a studio and living quarters while he indulged in his hobby of photography from 2009 to 2013.

Cult members told them not to stray from the guided course and trailed those who broke away from the group.

Reporters are shown around a compound belonging to a cult led by ferry owner Yoo Byug-eon in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday. Reporters are shown around a compound belonging to a cult led by ferry owner Yoo Byug-eon in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province on Sunday.

Five cult members then held a press conference on Sunday afternoon claiming that Yoo, an undischarged bankrupt, is not their leader and has no financial interests in the compound.

But when asked about Yoo's whereabouts, one member said, "I believe he is living inside" the compound. He claimed he saw Yoo inside the compound about a week after the sinking of the ferry disaster on April 16.

Around 3,000 sect members gathered at the compound on Saturday and around 1,700 on Sunday.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 19, 2014 10:34 KST