The National Police Agency is launching a central taskforce to arrest Yoo Byung-eon, the de facto owner of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, and his son, a spokesman said Tuesday.
The two have managed to escape arrest for six weeks, moving from one safe house to another and being protected all the way by followers of a cult Yoo senior leads.
The central taskforce will control a nationwide dragnet to streamline the current operations, where every regional police agency has separately operated a team of 150 investigators.
It will consist of 60 veteran investigators.
Rewards for investigators have also been increased.
"Until recently, there were around 300 reports a day on the whereabouts of the Yoo family, but the number dropped to 198 yesterday," a police spokesman said. "We urge people to report and cooperate."