Chonghaejin Marine

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Chonghaejin Marine Co. Ltd.
Native name
Founded 24 February 1999
Defunct May 19, 2014 (2014-05-19)
Headquarters Incheon, South Korea
Key people
Kim Han-sik, CEO
Yoo Byung-eun (former Chairman)
Products Shipping

Chonghaejin Marine Company Ltd. or Cheonghaejin Marine Company Ltd. (Hangul: 청해진해운; hanja: 淸海鎭海運[1]; RR: cheong-hae-jin-hae-un) is a South Korean shipping company that operated the ferry MV Sewol that sank en route from Incheon towards Jeju on 16 April 2014. The Sewol capsized in the Maenggol Channel carrying 476 people, mostly secondary students from Danwon High School; 172 passengers and crew survived, while 304 drowned or are still missing.[2][3]

Chonghaejin Marine Company Ltd. was set up on 24 February 1999, and became a key entity to consolidate Yoo Byung-eun's bankrupt company Semo's shipping business, taking over ships and assets held by Semo Marine, and had Semo's debts written off.[4][5][6][7][8] Yoo Byung-eun's two sons are controlling the shipping firm through a majority stake in the investment vehicle I-One-I Holdings as well as 13 unlisted affiliates which through a tangled web of ownership structure own each other.[9][10][11][12]

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries cancelled Chonghaejin Marine's license to operate ferries on the Incheon-Jeju Island route in May 2014.[13]

In mid June 2014, Chonhaiji Co. Ltd., a ship block maker controlled by the sons of businessman Yoo Byung-eun, and the major shareholder of Chonghaejin Marine Company with 39.4%, lodged its application for receivership at the Changwon District Court. Chonhaiji had ₩34.8 billion (~US$34.19 million) in outstanding debt to main creditor Korea Development Bank.[14][15] On 12 June 2014 a man's body was found in a field 415 kilometres south of Seoul. A few weeks later after forensic testing police revealed it was the body of Yoo Byung-eun. While foul play was ruled out, police said they had yet to establish the cause of death.[16]


  1. ^ 麗水白島(여수 백도) (in Chinese). Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  2. ^ "(3rd LD) All-out efforts to search sunken ferry continue amid weak currents". Yonhap News. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Mundy, Simon (21 May 2014). "South Korean sect ends stand-off over Sewol ferry disaster". Financial Times ( Retrieved 2014-06-12. 
  4. ^ Kang, Hyun-kyung (26 April 2014). "'Salvation sect' suspected of backing Yoo's business". The Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-05-23. 
  5. ^ Kim, Miyoung (22 April 2014). "Company that owned ill-fated South Korea ferry has chequered past". Uk.Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  6. ^ Lee, Ji-yoon (23 April 2014). "Scandalous owner family of Sewol". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-05-28. 
  7. ^ "Find all political, government leaders protecting Yoo Byeong-eon". The Dong-a Ilbo. 12 May 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  8. ^ Hong, Gil-dong (24 April 2014). "Travel ban slapped on ferry firm owner". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  9. ^ Seo, Ji-eun (26 May 2014). "Sects, money and tragedy have history in Korea". Korea JoongAng Daily ( Retrieved 2014-05-27. 
  10. ^ "Chonghaejin Marine's 'real' owner hunted". The Korea Times. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  11. ^ Park, Ju-min (21 May 2014). "South Korean sect submits to search for founder linked to doomed ferry". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  12. ^ Kim, Da-ye (30 April 2014). "Who controls Semo Group?". Korea Times. Retrieved 2014-05-29. 
  13. ^ "Ferry Owner's Children Go Underground". 2014-05-13. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  14. ^ "Korean yard files". TradeWinds. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  15. ^ "Major shareholder of S.Korean ferry operator applies for receivership". Reuters. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  16. ^ "Tycoon wanted in fatal South Korean boat capsize found dead". South Korea News.Net. Retrieved 23 July 2014. 

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