Sewol Ferry Operator Hit with USD 161 Million Compensation Claim

South Korea’s Ministry of Justice has filed a lawsuit against Cheonghaejin Marine Co., the operator of the Sewol ferry which sank in April 2014, asking for a compensation for the money the government has so far paid to the victims and those affected by the incident, according to local media.

The Ministry of Justice filed the lawsuit with the Seoul Central District Court on November 19, which could potentially lead to Cheonghaejin Marine compensating the government for KRW 187.8 billion (USD 161 million) paid for the losses so far.

The amount of the compensation can potentially increase, depending if the government pays any more compensations in connection to the sinking. The ministry has also taken preemptive preservation steps to stop the company from siphoning off its funds.

The 6,825-tonne Sewol ferry sank off the Jindo Island on April 16, 2014, killing 304 out of 476 passengers and crew, 250 of whom were high school students on a school trip.

Lee Joon-seok, the captain of the sunken ferry, was sentenced to life in prison after South Korea’s appeals court found him guilty of homicide.

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