The South Korean state forensic agency has reported that it was impossible to determine the cause of death of Yoo Byung-eun, the fugitive shipping tycoon allegedly responsible for April’s Sewol ferry disaster, due to the state of progressed decomposition of the body, according to Yonhap.
The body of the 73-year-old billionaire, owner of Chonghaejin Marine Co., operator of the Sewol ferry, was discovered in a plum field outside the city of Suncheon, 415 kilometres south of Seoul.
South Korean state authorities launched a state-wide manhunt in an effort to apprehend Yoo on the grounds of indications that his alleged corruption might have caused the sinking of the Sewol ferry carrying over 300 passengers, mainly students on a school trip, on April 16.
“It was impossible to conclude the cause of death since Yoo’s body was in a very advanced stage of decomposition,” said Seo Joong-seok, director of the National Forensic Service (NFS).
In more than three months after the Sewol ferry tragedy, 294 people have been confirmed dead, with 10 more still listed as missing.
Prompted by this unfortunate incident, South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won has launched a special task force with the goal of eradicating corruption in public and private business sectors.
A thirty-five strong team from government ministries and agencies, including the justice ministry, the prosecutors’ office, and the state tax agency have been commissioned to determine the state of corruption in both the public and private sectors, determine the causes and set out countermeasures.
World Maritime News Staff, July 25, 2014