Police on Wednesday raided a sprawling compound south of Seoul belonging to a cult led by Yoo Byung-eon, the fugitive owner of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine. It was the second raid on the compound in Ansan in less than a month.
This time investigators were looking for two women who are believed to be playing a crucial role in aiding Yoo's escape, but they too could not be found.
Police left behind a contingent at the compound and plan to return on Thursday. Prosecutors said they will mobilize staff on Thursday to search for any underground tunnels and illegally constructed buildings in the compound.
Around 80 investigators and thousands of police were involved in Wednesday's raid. Some 200 followers of Yoo's sect were at the compound at the time, but there were no clashes.
Police arrested six followers on suspicion of aiding Yoo's escape but a 12-hour search produced no compelling new evidence.
Until last week, prosecutors said publicly that they had no plan to raid the compound again as they are focusing on capturing Yoo. But they apparently changed their minds when President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday slammed prosecutors and law enforcement officers for failing to capture him.