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No safe haven for fugitives

Updated: 2016-07-19 07:45
(China Daily)

Having remained at large in Peru for 18 years, Huang Haiyong, who is suspected of involvement in smuggling and tax evasion, was brought back to China on Sunday, the first case of successful extradition of a criminal suspect from Latin America to China.

In 2001, at the request of Chinese authorities, Interpol issued a global arrest warrant for Huang. He was caught in Peru by Interpol in 2008 and China held negotiations with the Peruvian authorities to repatriate him.

Huang's repatriation once again demonstrates China's law enforcement authorities' firm resolve to track down any fugitives and bring them to justice.

It is the result of coordinated efforts by China's judicial, diplomatic and customs departments in the context of the central authorities' escalated crackdown on corrupt officials, including those who have fled abroad, and will offer precious experience for similar cooperation between China and other countries.

For many years, Huang had convinced Peruvian authorities that he would face the risk of execution or torture if repatriated to China. Peru's final nod to Huang's repatriation indicates that China has reached consensuses on combating cross-border crimes with an increasing number of countries.

Since March last year, when China launched an escalated campaign to pursue fugitive corrupt officials, nearly one-third of the top 100 most-wanted fugitives have already been captured and brought back to China. Such kind of breakthrough progress in its judicial cooperation with foreign countries will be a deterrent to potential corrupt officials who attempt to use certain foreign countries as safe harbors to escape their due punishments in China.

The perseverance the authorities have shown in bringing the suspects back so they can be held accountable for their crimes shows the determination to smash any possible illusion that foreign countries may be viewed as havens by criminals.

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