New agency to track down fugi­tives over­seas

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­

A new agency has been set up by the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity to han­dle fugi­tives who have fled over­seas.

The Depart­ment of Over­seas Fugi­tives Affairs will help China to bring fugi­tives hid­ing over­seas to jus­tice and to re­trieve stolen funds, the min­istry said in a state­ment on Wed­nes­day.

It added that the “Fox Hunt” cam­paign, launched last year to hunt such fugi­tives, will con­tinue this year.

The min­istry said 857 fugi­tives were brought to China from 66 coun­tries and re­gions be­tween April and the end of De­cem­ber.

Law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties launched the “Fox Hunt” cam­paign in April as part of the “Skynet” op­er­a­tion tar­get­ing sus­pected eco­nomic crim­i­nals.

Of the 857 sus­pects, 366 turned them­selves in to Chi­nese po­lice, 477 were caught by lo­cal law en­force­ment of­fi­cers and 14 were pros­e­cuted in lo­cal courts.

A to­tal of 212 sus­pects al­legedly em­bez­zled or took bribes of up to 10 mil­lion yuan, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment.

Fifty-eight of th­ese sus­pects were al­legedly linked with cases in­volv­ing more than 100 mil­lion yuan ($15.2 mil­lion.

The state­ment said 39 of the sus­pects had been liv­ing over­seas for more than 10 years, with one of them be­ing at large for 21 years.

The min­istry said 122 fugi­tives were linked with vo­ca­tional crimes, a term usu­ally used by Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties to re­fer to cor­rup­tion.

The min­istry and re­gional po­lice sent more than 50 teams to over­seas coun­tries and re­gions to work with lo­cal law en­force­ment bod­ies and Chi­nese diplo­matic mis­sions to track and seize the fugi­tives.

Two sus­pects were sent back from the United States and a to­tal of six were re­turned from Italy, Greece, Bul­garia, Spain and Hun­gary.

An­other 283 fugi­tives were cap­tured in South­east Asian coun­tries in­clud­ing Thai­land, Malaysia and Cam­bo­dia.

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