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Three More Arrested for Spreading False Rumors, Mocking Victims of Ferry Disaster

JINDO, South Korea — Three people have been arrested on charges of spreading false rumors about last week’s ferry disaster or writing articles mocking disaster victims on the Internet, police said today.

The arrest raised the number of people to four under investigation on suspicions of uploading ill-intended online postings about the ferry’s sinking, which left 108 people dead and 194 others missing as of today afternoon. A total of 476 passengers were aboard the 6,825-ton ferry Sewol that capsized and sank off the southwest coast.

Among the three was a 31-year-old man who allegedly criticized the government’s poor handling of the disaster, posing as a civilian diver who joined the government-led rescue operation.

The man claimed in his online posting uploaded on Wednesday night that he tried to recover bodies of those killed in the ferry sinking but could not do anything because of hindrance from a person in charge, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency.

He, however, was found to have no scuba diving license, the police said.

Police say they plan to seek a formal arrest warrant for the man as he repeatedly reversed his statements and tried to destroy evidence while under investigation.

Also among those investigation is a high-school student who wrote online postings insulting and belittling those killed in the disaster and their family.

Scams from text messages, TV interviews from fraudulent scuba divers and on-and-offline rumors have plagued the rescue efforts as the death toll has now reached 108 as of this afternoon.

Source: Busan eFM News




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