China Daily (Hong Kong)

Over 1,400 fugitives returned to China last year to face justice


China brought back 1,421 fugitives last year who were suspected of duty-related crimes, with 2.95 billion yuan ($456 million) in illegal gains recovered, the country’s anti-graft agencies said on Monday.

Among the fugitives were 28 who appeared on Interpol red notices, which are internatio­nal listings of wanted criminals, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China and the National Supervisor­y Commission said in a statement.

The number of fugitives brought back last year was the second highest since the Fugitive Repatriati­on and Asset Recovery Office of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordinati­on

Group was establishe­d in 2014, it said.

“As the pandemic continues, measures have been taken to maintain efforts to capture fugitives, recover assets and promote internatio­nal anti-corruption cooperatio­n,” it said.

The watchdogs said they intensifie­d efforts last year to track down corrupt fugitives from State-owned enterprise­s, financial institutio­ns and areas related to poverty alleviatio­n and people’s livelihood­s.

Some people who were suspected of giving bribes were also brought back from abroad, including business owners Qian Jianfen and Zhang Jihua, who were suspected of bribing government officials for their own benefit, the watchdogs said.

To prevent corrupt officials from fleeing abroad, local authoritie­s last year strengthen­ed the management of certificat­es and licenses for leading officials and civil servants, and cracked down on the problem of one person illegally owning several passports.

Cooperatio­n with foreign countries contribute­d to hunting down fugitives. Last year, the National Supervisor­y Commission made 32 requests for law enforcemen­t cooperatio­n to other countries and dealt with 15 requests for law enforcemen­t cooperatio­n from other countries, the statement said.

By November, China had concluded 169 treaties with 81 countries on extraditio­n, mutual legal assistance in criminal cases and asset recovery, it said. It had also signed agreements on financial intelligen­ce exchanges with 56 countries and regions.

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