I was of­ten haunted by the fear of cap­ture

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - Fu Yaobo, a 50-year-old for­mer of­fi­cial at a gov­ern­ment hu­man re­sources and so­cial se­cu­rity of­fice in Benxi, Liaon­ing prov­ince

My night­mare be­gan when I em­bez­zled la­bor­ers’ wages, although it was a rel­a­tively small amount. I in­vested the money in the stock mar­ket and planned to re­turn it af­ter mak­ing quick money. In­stead, I lost the money, so I con­tin­ued to em­bez­zle funds.

At first, I thought suf­fer­ing a loss in the stock mar­ket was my bad luck. By the time the money was needed it was too late to re­coup the losses (Fu and his part­ner told prose­cu­tors that they had em­bez­zled nearly 30 mil­lion yuan ($4.5 mil­lion be­tween them.)

I de­cided to end it all by tak­ing an over­dose of di­azepam pills. But faced with death, I just couldn’t do it. Fear­ing be­ing thrown into prison, I chose to flee the coun­try on Sept 12, 2014.

Trav­el­ing via five coun­tries, I fi­nally reached the south­ern Car­ib­bean state of Saint Vin­cent and the Gre­nadines. I lived there for 16 months, and ev­ery day was agony.

The fear of be­ing caught haunted me. I fell into de­spair when I learned from the in­ter­net that I had been placed on an In­ter­pol list of 100 Chi­nese eco­nomic fugi­tives. Some of my for­mer su­pe­ri­ors were sent to prison af­ter be­ing im­pli­cated in my crimes. I have been deeply re­morse­ful since then.

At the same time, I was phys­i­cally un­well. Gall­stones, high blood pres­sure and a gas­tric ul­cer never stopped tor­ment­ing me. I couldn’t go to reg­u­lar hospi­tals to re­ceive treat­ment be­cause of the risk that I would be caught.

On Feb 1, I opened the door af­ter a flurry of knocks. A cou­ple of lo­cal po­lice of­fi­cers checked my iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and said I was sus­pected of il­le­gal res­i­dence. Then two Chi­nese po­lice of­fi­cers ap­proached and asked me, “You know what’s go­ing on, right?”

I felt re­lieved. At that mo­ment, I knewI would rather face jail than suf­fer the anx­i­ety, ail­ments and home­sick­ness.

I un­der­stand that my feel­ing of re­morse came too late. All I can do now is as­sist the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, con­fess my crimes and hope for le­niency.

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