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Reward for tip-off on South Korea ferry owner upped to more than $626,000

Published on May 26, 2014 2:33 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - Under-pressure South Korean prosecutors on Monday upped to US$500,000 (S$626,485) a cash reward for information leading to the arrest of a fugitive businessman in connection with last month's ferry disaster.

The new sum was a 10-fold increase from the original amount offered last Thursday for Yoo Byung Eun, patriarch of the family that owns Chonghaejin Marine Co. Chonghaejin was the owner and operator of the 6,825-tonne ferry, Sewol, which capsized and sank on April 16 with the loss of around 300 lives - most of them schoolchildren.

Yoo is wanted for questioning on possible charges of embezzlement and criminal negligence, as prosecutors investigate the extent to which the Sewol disaster was caused by a lack of safety standards and regulatory violations.

"We hope the bigger cash reward will lead to his quick arrest," senior prosecutor Kim Hoe Jong told AFP.

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