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U.S. says it works closely with S. Korea amid manhunt for son of Sewol's owner family


WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 (Yonhap) -- A U.S. government agency investigating foreign fugitives said Monday it is working closely with Seoul, amid the manhunt for a son of the owner of the sunken South Korean ferry Sewol.

Yoo Hyuk-ki, second son of Yoo Byung-eun, the dead owner of the ferry, has reportedly fled to the United States to avoid arrest on charges of embezzlement and other irregularities that are believed to have contributed to the ferry's April 17 sinking.

More than 300 people were killed in the accident.

Reports have said that the Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is pursuing Yoo and aides to his family, and the agency has narrowed down Yoo's whereabouts through credit card records.

"ICE Homeland Security Investigations Seoul works closely with our foreign law enforcement counterparts," said Brandon A. Montgomery, ICE's public affairs officer. "However, ICE does not confirm or deny if we are conducting an active investigation."

The official made the remark in response to a Yonhap News Agency query whether the agency is pursuing Yoo and other officials related to the Sewol's sinking.

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