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South Korea ferry fugitive hid in cabin wall, suitcases of cash at hand

Published on Jul 23, 2014 6:12 PM
 People watch a news broadcast on July 22 2014 showing coverage of Yoo Byung-Eun, a fugitive business tycoon wanted in connection with a ferry disaster in April, whose heavily decomposed body was found earlier this month in a plum field in Suncheon, a city 300 kilometres south of Seoul. The discovery ended a massive, months-long manhunt for the billionaire 73-year-old patriarch whose family owns Chonghaejin Marine Co., operator of the ill-fated ferry. -- PHOTO: AFP 

SUNCHEON/INCHEON (REUTERS) - South Korea's most wanted man, whose heavily decomposed body was found in an orchard last month, had evaded arrest by hiding in an upstairs wall of a wooden cabin, with suitcases of cash at hand, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

The body of Yoo Byung-un, 73, wanted in connection with a ferry sinking in April, was only identified this week more than a month after he was found lying next to a copy of a book he had written, empty bottles of alcohol nearby.

When prosecutors returned to the cabin last month, acting on testimony given by an assistant, police found two suitcases that between them contained 830 million won (S$1 million) and US$160,000 (S$198,260), prosecutors said.

The cabin is on the outskirts of Suncheon, in the south of the country, about 2km from the plum orchard where the corpse was found.

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