Prosecutors Freeze More Assets of Fugitive Ferry Owner

Prosecutors have applied for court approval to freeze an additional W34.4 billion worth of real estate, stocks and other assets owned by fugitive ferry owner Yoo Byung-eon and his family (US$1=W1,028).

This is the fourth time that prosecutors have sought to freeze their assets, resulting in W105.4 billion worth of assets being impounded. That is 81.6 percent of the W129.1 billion Yoo and his family are accused of embezzling from his vast network of businesses, including ferry operator Chonghaejin Marine.

The assets prosecutors are now seeking to freeze include six farms, 455 pieces of real estate purchased by Yoo's aides and businesses, and W12 billion worth of stocks owned by the head of another affiliated business.

On three previous occasions, prosecutors froze W71 billion worth of the Yoos' assets including real estate, bank deposits and artworks. A prosecution spokesman said, "We will continue to search for other hidden assets of Yoo's family and freeze them."

Yoo is an undischarged bankrupt and technically owns nothing, but is suspected of registering his vast wealth in the names of family and members of the crackpot cult he leads.

englishnews@chosun.com / Jul. 18, 2014 11:55 KST