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Elusive Sewol owner uses phones under borrowed names

Posted June. 05, 2014 04:37,   


Former Semo Group Chairman Yoo Byeong-eon, de-facto owner of the shipping company that operated the sunken ferry Sewol, has been found to have evaded the law enforcement agencies` tracing by using mobile phones under names borrowed from the children of the followers of the Salvation Sect known to be following him.

The special investigation team at the Incheon District Prosecutors` Office said Wednesday that a man surnamed Chu, 60, who is allegedly in charge of the cult`s operation in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province and helped Yoo run away from the law enforcement agencies` tracking, had asked a cult follower surnamed Kim, 72, to open phones under borrowed names.

At that time, the phone that Chu took over from Kim was opened under the name of a son of Kim`s. However, Kim claimed that he was not aware that the phone would be used for Yoo`s escape from law enforcement.

It is known that Kim`s son is not a follower of Yoo`s cult but let his name be used for Yoo`s phone at the father`s request. The law enforcement authorities believe that close aides to Yoo seemed to have used mobile phones under borrowed names in order to escape the prosecution`s tracking after they decided to use a mountain villa in Suncheon, South Jeolla Province as his hideout on April 29. After confirming that Yoo had been using a mobile phone under borrowed names, investigators raided seven villas in Suncheon on May 31, only to fail.

The police and prosecution are looking for additional clues while analyzing mobile phone communication records left by Yoo and his aides. However, there have reportedly been no traces indicating the use of the mobile phone under the name of Kim`s son since his hiding in Suncheon was revealed. The law enforcement agencies are now investigating whether Yoo is using new mobile phones under some followers of the cult.