Updated August. 14, 2014 02:58
It was confirmed Wednesday that South Korea`s Ministry of Justice agreed with the U.S. Department of Justice on a mutual legal assistance (MLA) pact to seize criminal proceeds earned by Yoo Hyuk-ki, the second son of Yoo Byeong-eon, the deceased owner of the sunken ferry Sewol. The agreement paved the way for Seoul`s redeem of assets worth nearly 24 million U.S. dollars that the junior Yoo allegedly siphoned off to the United States.
If the MLA agreement is applied, U.S. law enforcement agencies, including the Homeland Security Investigations, can identify and collect the criminal proceeds that Yoo Hyuk-ki is hiding in the U.S. They can also seize his U.S. assets and send them to South Korea. Prosecutors in Incheon sent to the Justice Ministry a list of Yoo`s U.S. assets that are believed to have been purchased with criminal proceeds and a report of his alleged crimes. The ministry has sent them to Washington.
It has been known that the junior Yoo has some 8.87 million dollars` worth of assets in the U.S., including his mansion in Westchester County, New York. In addition, the Justice Ministry of Korea has asked the U.S. authorities to collect evidence and testimonies in order to investigate whether he owns a resort worth about 15 million dollars under borrowed names.