BEIJING, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- A newly released report from China.org.cn on China's hunt for overseas graft fugitives:
Recently in China, a television drama "In the Name of the People" has dominated TV and the internet. The drama became popular because of its depiction of the nation's ongoing war against corruption.
At the beginning of the show, Ding Yizhen, a corrupt vice mayor of a Chinese city, is seen boarding a flight for the United States with a fake passport. He thought he had managed to get away scot-free, but only ended up being murdered by his former accomplices in Africa.
In real life, China's hunt for escaped graft suspects is more complicated than the case in the TV drama. So far, 2,873 fugitives have been captured while hiding in more than 90 countries and regions, and 8.99 billion yuan (approximately 1.3 billion U.S. dollars), has been recovered. The figures highlight China's great determination to bring corrupt fugitives to justice.
"Corruption is a very serious crime. Many other financial crimes are associated with it. We are very excited and encouraged to see any member countries can take such emphasis like China is currently doing with corruption or related investigations." -- James Anderson, Assistant Director for Anti-Corruption and Financial Crime at Interpol
In 2015, a "red notice", the highest possible alert, was circulated by the Interpol National Central Bureau for China to seek the 100 most-wanted fugitives. So far, 40 people on the list have been captured. On April 27, China further stepped up its efforts, revealing detailed information about 22 graft suspects who had fled overseas. The information includes the countries, the cities or even the possible apartment blocks where they are believed to be currently living. The move has struck a heavy blow against them, who are now being hunted everywhere and by everyone.
What a mirage it has become - thinking they can lead a free and easy life abroad! In fact, the fugitives are actually facing a miserable world in which they dare not use their real-name passports, visit hospitals or contact family members. They are impoverished and lonely and some of them even have to make a living by carrying corpses in funeral parlors. After the issuance of the Interpol red notice, fugitives like Cheng Muyang who sought to join the upper class in Canada, have disappeared from the public eye, making few challenging and high-profile appearances.
Among the list of 100 fugitives, most headed to the United States, Canada and Australia, expecting the countries, which have not signed extradition agreements with China, will shelter them from punishment. However, China has actually established a multi-layered cooperative mechanism with those countries to achieve justice and law enforcement enabling it to extradite them. A number of these people have already been brought to justice. Then, how about some island countries that have not established bilateral ties with China? Are they safe havens? The answer is definitely "no". With an increasing number of countries signing extradition agreements with China, the havens for fugitives keep on diminishing.
Now, as the anti-corruption network has been extended globally, the best choice for the fugitives is to return home and await the verdict of the law.
China steps up hunt for overseas graft fugitives
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