(Fixes garble in first paragraph)
* Deer, birds and fireflies likely startled by police raid,
* Fugitive businessman's brother, who worked in sect
* Police detain middle-aged female sect member "mama" after
she turned herself in
By Ju-min Park
ANSEONG, South Korea, June 13 South Korean
police on Friday arrested the brother of a South Korean
businessman linked to a ferry disaster in April in which
hundreds of school children drowned, as the net appeared to
tighten around the fugitive's family.
But Yoo Byung-un, 73, a businessman and photographer, is
still on the run, eluding one of the country's biggest and most
bizarre manhunts for more than a month, centred on a huge church
sect compound south of Seoul.
His elder brother, Yoo Byung-il, was arrested near the leafy
compound in Anseong, where police are checking all passing
vehicles and pedestrians.
Yoo Byung-un's daughter, Yoo Som-Na, has been held in France
since May 28 after Interpol called for her arrest "for fraud and
embezzlement". She was denied bail on Wednesday
Yoo Byung-un 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 killing more than 300 people, many of them
school children, on a routine journey from Incheon on the
mainland to the southern holiday island of Jeju.
Yonhap news agency said the brother received monthly
consulting fees from Chonghaejin and was arrested on charges of
embezzlement and fraud-related real estate deals. Prosecutors
have not disclosed the charges.
Reuters was unable to verify the report independently.
"DEER, BIRDS AND FIREFLIES"
Police this week raided the Evangelical Baptist Church
compound for the second time as they tried to flush out Yoo, who
is also the sect's co-founder, combing its grounds for two days
with earth movers and sniffer dogs.
On Friday, the religious group invited journalists into the
grounds, accusing police and prosecution officials of exceeding
terms of their search warrant and damaging private property.
"The deer, birds and fireflies were likely startled, and
there is damage everywhere," group spokesman Cho Kye-ung said.
Sect members grow organic produce and run fresh water fish
farms. Yoo is believed to have had a large office on the
compound that included a photography studio.
Authorities have detained a middle-aged female sect member
who is accused of helping him escape after she turned herself in
on Friday. The police are still looking for another one of the
key middle-aged female sect members known as "mamas."
The news briefing was held in a building called "Cleopatra"
where Cho said Yoo Byung-il had been "coming to work" on the
compound after retirement.
"This is not some religious place as people keep saying. It
is a place of life and work for us," he said, after about 100
followers sang hymns.
Police believe Yoo Byung-un and one of his sons are still in
South Korea. Another son is based in the United States but his
whereabouts could not be established by Reuters.
South Korea's Ministry of Security and Public Administration
will distribute wanted posters of Yoo Byung-un and his son, a
spokesman for the ministry said.
Of the 476 passengers and crew on board the Sewol, 339 were
children and teachers from the same school. Only 172 people were
rescued and the remainder are all presumed to have drowned in
South Korea's worst civilian maritime disaster in 20 years.
Fifteen members of the ferry's crew are on trial on charges
ranging from homicide to negligence after they were caught on
video abandoning ship as the children stayed put in their
(Additional reporting by Sohee Kim; Writing by James Pearson
and Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)