Memorial for South Korean ferry victims

Associated Press
A college student weeps during a rally to demand the government to seek the truth in poor handling of the sinking of the ferry Sewol, in Seoul, South Korea, Saturday, May 24, 2014. More than 300 people are dead or missing in the water off the southern coast in the disaster that caused widespread grief, anger and shame. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

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South Korea has hiked to nearly half a million dollars its reward for information leading to the capture of Yoo Byung-un, the head of the family that owns the operator of a ferry that capsized and sank last month, killing more than 300 people.

The figure of 500 million won ($490,000) being offered by authorities after a week of futile searching for Yoo is a tenfold increase from the 50 million set initially, and is the maximum allowed by criminal law as a reward for fugitives.

"This is the largest amount ever offered by an investigative authority as reward," said a prosecution official involved in the case. (REUTERS)

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