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Daughter of de facto Sewol owner arrested in France

2014/05/27 19:07

SEOUL, May 26 (Yonhap) -- The eldest daughter of the de facto owner of the sunken ferry Sewol was arrested in France as part of an investigation by South Korean authorities into corruption allegations surrounding the family, sources said Tuesday.

Prosecutors have been seeking to arrest Yoo Byung-eon, the former head of the predecessor to Chonghaejin Marine Co., which operated the ill-fated ferry Sewol, as he refused to appear for questioning over corruption allegations.

Prosecutors have also sought arrest warrants for Yoo's second son, Hyuk-ki, and eldest daughter, Som-na, both currently staying abroad, as they have also repeatedly refused to respond to prosecution summonses.

The 48-year-old daughter was arrested by French authorities on suspicion of embezzlement after Korean prosecutors requested Interpol to help find her, sources at the justice ministry said.

It marked the first arrest of a member of Yoo's family since the investigation began after the sinking last month.

Seoul's foreign ministry has ordered both Hyuk-ki and Som-na to return their passports at the request of prosecutors.

French authorities are expected to extradite the arrested suspect here, the sources said.

"The government will do its best to bring her to Korea as fast as it can," the justice ministry said.