Fugitive Ferry Owner Carrying W2 Billion in Cash

Yoo Byung-eon, the owner of ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine, is carrying around a bag with W2 billion to aid his continuing flight from the law (US$1=W1,012).

Investigators at the Incheon District Prosecutors' Office said Yoo bought a piece of real estate in southwestern Korea while he was hiding in a house in the area in May. He purchased the land in the names of members of the cult he leads.

The previous owner said Yoo paid the W250 million price in cash out of a suitcase. Judging by the size of the bag, Yoo is believed to be carrying around W2 billion.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have apparently obtained some 300 mobile phone numbers of cult members that they allegedly used to aid the escape of their leader, whom they revere like a god, from a sprawling compound south of Seoul. The phones were registered under aliases.

Prosecutors are now tracking the numbers they called. They also plan to look into any recent real estate transactions of cult members and their relatives in order to seize more assets to cover compensation payments for victims of the April 16 ferry disaster.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 09, 2014 10:00 KST