A special unit under the prosecution tasked with reinvestigating the 2014 Sewol ferry sinking raided the Korea Coast Guard headquarters as well as regional offices that oversee the Western Coast on Friday, launching its first probe in 11 days since it officially kicked off.
The special team launched the raid at 10 a.m. Friday at the Korea Coast Guard headquarters in Incheon and western regional offices and stations in Mokpo, Wando, and Yeosu in South Jeolla Province. From its raid into the Search and Rescue Division of the Korea Coast Guard, Special Records Repository, and the situation room of the western office, the team reportedly acquired records of one of the country’s worst maritime disasters and a list of Coast Guard members aboard ships dispatched to the scene.
The prosecutorial unit’s probe seems to be intended to shed light on suspicions raised by a special committee on the sinking of the Sewol ferry. The committee announced on Oct. 31 that on the day of the tragedy, Apr. 16, 2014, the then Coast Guard leadership including the then chief took the place of a teenage passenger on a mobilized helicopter, who could have survived if he had been timely transported to a hospital. The Coast Guard vessel No. 3009, which was moved right after the teenage was rescued, has been also raided by the special unit on Friday. The committee had also raised suspicions that the surveillance camera footage taken on the day of the sinking could have been tampered.