Sat, Jan 12, 2019 - Page 6 News List

China claims wins in extraditing fugitives, funds


More than 1,000 Chinese fugitives who fled abroad were returned to the country last year and more than US$519 million in ill-gotten gains was recovered, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) said yesterday, in what it is seen as a further victory in President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) years-long drive against corruption.

Among the 1,335 returned were 307 party members or government employees, including five on a list of 100 most-wanted Chinese corruption suspects handed over to Interpol, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said.

They include: Xu Chaofan (許超凡), the former manager of a branch of the Bank of China in the southern province of Guangdong suspected of embezzling US$485 million who fled to the US 17 years ago; and Yao Jinqi (姚錦旗), a former deputy county chief who was extradited from Bulgaria, becoming the first fugitive sent home from an EU country.

China said its four-year-old campaign to return white collar criminals and recover assets has captured more than 5,000 fugitives in all.

The operation known as “Sky Net” marked an extension of the anti-corruption drive that Xi launched shortly after taking power more than eight years ago.

Domestically, 621,000 people last year received punishments for corruption, including 51 officials at or above the provincial and ministerial level, the commission said.

Along with detaining suspects and seizing assets, graft busters have also taken extreme measures such as demolishing 1,000 luxury villas built illegally in northern China’s Qingling mountains, according to a documentary shown on state television.

A weekend conference is expected to set out anti-corruption priorities for the coming year.

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