(A mourner cries as she pays tribute, at a temporary memorial altar for victims of the capsized passenger ship Sewol, in Ansan April 26, 2014. REUTERS/Issei Kato)
Thousands of South Korean police and prosecutors raided a sprawling religious compound for a second time on Wednesday in their search for an elderly businessman linked to a ferry disaster that reduced the nation to tears.
Helicopters flew overhead as officers moved from building to building at the site, believed to cover the size of a dozen soccer pitches, with church members in pursuit, some singing hymns, others chanting “Let’s fight with prosecutors and police!”
But the businessman, Yoo Byung-un, also a photographer who was once jailed for fraud and is now South Korea’s most wanted man, was nowhere to be found.
Yoo, in his 70s, co-founder of the church which owns the website www.god.com, is wanted on charges of embezzlement, negligence and tax evasion stemming from a web of business holdings centred on I-One-I, an investment vehicle owned by his sons that ran the shipping company, Chonghaejin Marine.
Chonghaejin owned the Sewol which sank off the southwest coast on April 16 on a routine journey from Incheon on the mainland to the southern holiday island of Jeju.