US aids hunt for fugi­tives

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YAN zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

China and the United States will im­prove anti-cor­rup­tion law en­force­ment co­op­er­a­tion to aid crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions and the repa­tri­a­tion of fugi­tives, ac­cord­ing to Chi­nese au­thor­i­ties.

Both sides will con­tinue to “pri­or­i­tize co­op­er­a­tion on repa­tri­at­ing fugi­tives sus­pected of eco­nomic crimes or il­le­gal im­mi­grants through char­ter flights”, said a se­nior of­fi­cial from the CPC Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion, who de­clined to re­veal his name.

In ad­di­tion, they will strengthen ju­di­cial co­op­er­a­tion to fight money laun­der­ing crimes and re­cover ill­got­ten gains.

Both sides are in ad­vanced ne­go­ti­a­tions to sign an agree­ment on shar­ing con­fis­cated as­sets that cor­rupt Chi­nese of­fi­cials have il­le­gally trans­ferred to the US.

In re­cent years, the US has be­come the most popular des­ti­na­tion for cor­rupt Chi­nese of­fi­cials to flee to due to a lack of bi­lat­eral ex­tra­di­tion treaties and dif­fer­ences in laws.

Mean­while, a large num­ber of cor­rupt of­fi­cials have trans­ferred mil­lions of yuan to for­eign ac­counts ei­ther through money laun­der­ing or un­der­ground banks, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity.

Dur­ing the G20 Lead­ers Sum­mit in Septem­ber, China and the US agreed to step up the anti-cor­rup­tion cam­paign by re­fus­ing to of­fer “safe havens” for cor­rupt of­fi­cials who re­main at large in the US.

In April last year, In­ter­pol is­sued red no­tices — in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rants — for 100 Chi­nese fugi­tives. Since then, 35 have re­turned from more than 16 coun­tries and re­gions to face charges. To date, 33 cor­rupt of­fi­cials are still at large in the US, ac­count­ing for 51 per­cent of the re­main­ing 65 fugi­tives who have fled over­seas, ac­cord­ing to the top anti­graft­watch­dog.

“It is a must to en­hance law en­force­ment co­op­er­a­tion with the US, es­pe­cially on con­duct­ing joint in­ves­ti­ga­tions, and iden­ti­fy­ing and con­fis­cat­ing il­le­gal as­sets,” said Li Wei, a lawyer at Bei­jing Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Ac­cord­ing to the top anti­graft watch­dog, dur­ing the China-US Joint Li­ai­son Group on Law En­force­ment Co­op­er­a­tion meet­ing, which will be held this month, ju­di­cial of­fi­cers from both coun­tries will share in­tel­li­gence and dis­cuss fugi­tive cases.

More­over, China is pro­mot­ing the es­tab­lish­ment of an anti-cor­rup­tion co­op­er­a­tive mech­a­nism with the US, aimed at forc­ing fugi­tives to re­turn from the US to face charges.

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