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Funeral of disaster-hit ferry owner takes place in Seoul under tight security

Published on Aug 30, 2014 12:17 PM
Policemen transport a stretcher with a body believed to be that of Yoo Byung Eun, who headed the family that owned the operator of the Sewol ferry that capsized in April, killing more than 300 people, into an ambulance at a hospital in Suncheon on July 22, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - The funeral of a South Korean tycoon who was the target of a massive manhunt connected to April's ferry disaster began on Saturday under tight security at the compound of the religious group he led.

Yoo Byung Eun, 73, was the head of the family which owned and operated the Sewol ferry that sank on April 16 with the loss of around 300 lives, most of them schoolchildren.

Yoo's badly decomposed body was discovered in June but it was not identified as his for another six weeks even as police continued a nationwide manhunt for the reclusive billionaire.

Forensic experts were unable to determine the cause of death. Following a 24-hour vigil, Yoo will be buried on Sunday at the compound of the pseudo-Christian religious group he headed in Anseong, 80 kilometres south of Seoul.

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