Fugi­tive re­turned 15 years on

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

One of the coun­try’s most­wanted eco­nomic fugi­tives, who had been on the run for 15 years in New Zealand, re­turned to China on Satur­day to turn him­self in, ac­cord­ing to the Com­mu­nist Party of China’s Cen­tral Com­mis­sion for Dis­ci­pline In­spec­tion.

Yan Yong­ming, 47, for­mer chair­man of Tonghua Gold­enHorse Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co in Jilin prov­ince, who was ac­cused of fraud and em­bez­zle­ment in­volv­ing $624 mil­lion ($91.6 mil­lion), fled to New Zealand in 2001 after his crime was ex­posed.

Yan re­turned vol­un­tar­ily to con­fess to his crimes, of­fer­ing to re­turn “a huge amount of ill-got­ten as­sets” and pay a hefty fine, the top anti-graft watch­dog said in a state­ment, with­out giv­ing fur­ther de­tails.

Ac­cord­ing to the CCDI, he is the 36th fugi­tive to have re­turned to face trial since April last year, when In­ter­pol is­sued “red no­tices”— in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rants — to track down 100 Chi­nese cor­rupt fugi­tives and con­fis­cate their ill-got­ten gains. China placed Yan fifth on its list of 100 most-wanted fugi­tives.

In Au­gust, the New Zealand High Court or­dered an end to amoney laun­der­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Yan and a freeze of as­sets to­tal­ing NZ$43 mil­lion ($31 mil­lion), ac­cord­ing to New Zealand po­lice.

The judg­ment fol­lows a three-year in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Yan that fo­cused on the laun­der­ing of large sums of money re­port­edly amassed from fraud and cor­rup­tion al­legedly con­ducted in China be­tween 1999 and 2001, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice.

Po­lice said in the state­ment that they would end their in­ves­ti­ga­tion and re­lease Yan’s prop­er­ties once he hands over the money, with the re­cov­ered funds to be shared be­tween China and NewZealand.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports in New Zealand, both coun­tries in­tend to start ne­go­ti­a­tions on a bi­lat­eral treaty for ex­tra­dit­ing fugi­tives.

How­ever, sources from the Min­istry of Jus­tice said that sign­ing such a treaty would take a long time due to com­plex pro­ce­dures.

“Yan’s re­turn once again proves there is no safe haven for fugi­tives, and the Op­er­a­tion Sky Net cam­paign has been tight­ened,” the CCDI said.

Yan Yong­ming

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