Ferry Owner Signed Property Over to Cult

Yoo Byung-eon, the de facto owner of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, and his family signed over around W27 billion worth of real estate to a cult he leads shortly after the ferry disaster last month.

The transfer is expected to complicate the government's efforts to seize assets owned by Yoo and his children to compensate the victims and cover expenses for the massive search and rescue operation.

A prosecution spokesman said, "Yoo and his family should be feel responsible for the tragedy, but instead have chosen to cheat in order to protect their assets."

Transcripts of land registers show the cult established the right to collateral security for some 24 properties on April 28 and 29, just a few days after Yoo pledged to donate what he claimed were his "entire assets" of W10 billion to compensate the victims.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 22, 2014 12:03 KST