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France - South Korea

Daughter of South Korean sunken ferry magnate detained in Paris

South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won (C) with family members of missing passengers of the Sewol
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won (C) with family members of missing passengers of the Sewol Reuters/Yonhap

The daughter of the owner of the South Korean ferry that sank on 16 April has been arrested in France on an international arrest warrant. Investigators believe Yoo Som-na, 47, was largely responsible for security lapses that cost 302 lives.

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Yoo was arrested on Tuesday at the Paris residence at the request of South Korean authorities and was detained awaiting extradition, a process that may take several months as French authorities examine the case.

She is the daughter of 73-year-old Yoo Byung-eun, the head of the family that owns the Chonghaejin Marine Co, which operated the Sewol ferry that went down carrying 302 people, 280 of them school students, twice as many as it was authorised to transport.

Cabins had also been illegally added to the boat, making it more vulnerable to waves.

Warrants are out for Yoo Byung-eun, a billionaire who is also suspected of tax evasion and fraud, and his two other children.

“Yoo Byung-eun’s family is responsible for this tragedy, is defying of the law and has aroused the fury of the law while they should be repenting before public opinion and revealing the truth,” South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on Tuesday.
 

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