An economic fraud suspect (right) is returned to Beijing under police escort on Tuesday after 10 years on the run in Italy, marking the first extradition of its kind to China from a European country, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The suspect, who worked at a securities company in Hebei province, is suspected of stealing more than 1.4 million yuan ($223,700) from clients between January 2000 and January 2005. [Photo/Xinhua]
"Most of the 100 Chinese fugitives are corrupt officials, and the suspects are accused of alleged graft issues, including embezzlement, abusing power, corruption and bribery," said a senior official at the CCDI's International Cooperation Bureau who declined to reveal his name.
The fugitives still at large include YangXiuzhu, former deputy director of the Zhejiang Provincial Construction Bureau, who fled to the US under suspicion of embezzling 250 million yuan ($40.3 million); Li Huabo, former senior official in the financial bureau of Poyang county, Jiangxi province, who immigrated to Singapore accused of embezzling 94 million yuan; and Huang Yurong, former vice-chairman of Henan Provincial Highway Development, who fled to the US under allegations of bribery.
Most of the 100 Chinese fugitives, who include 23 women, have probably escaped to the United States and Canada. The Ministry of Public Security is requesting that countries assist in extraditing the fugitives to China to face trial.
In recent years, many Chinese corrupt officials have fled overseas to avoid punishment, transferring hundreds of millions of yuan through money laundering and underground banks.
The arrest of the 100 officials is an important part of the "Sky Net" action, initiated in early April to target corrupt officials on the run abroad, especially in the US, Canada and Australia.
During the action, the ministry will work closely with the People's Bank of China to monitor the suspicious flow of funds remitted to foreign accounts, while enhancing efforts to combat the offshore companies and underground banks to prevent suspects from illegally transferring large amounts of funds abroad.
In addition, the ministry will cooperate with related authorities to investigate passports of government officers.
Interpol, based in Lyon, France, has 190 member countries and investigates terror attacks, organized and drug-related crimes, money laundering, firearms smuggling and corruption.