Special operation nets more than 100 fugitives

Updated: 2016-01-01 07:27

By Zheng Yi(China Daily)

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More than 100 fugitives have either been repatriated through legal channels or have returned to China of their own volition as a result of a special operation launched by the Supreme People's Procurator-ate in September 2014.

The former fugitives are allegedly involved in cases with an estimated economic value of 1.2 billion yuan ($185 million), according to an announcement by the top prosecuting department on Thursday.

Of the 108 suspects who returned from 29 countries and jurisdictions, 70 came back of their own volition and the rest have been caught by law enforcement bodies, the procuratorate said. It added that 31 have lived outside China for more than 10 years and seven have stayed outside China for more than 20 years.

The procuratorate said China's prosecuting bodies will continue the special operation in 2016 to bring more suspects to justice.

The operation was staged to reinforce the nationwide campaign to root out corruption, particularly in assistance with the Sky-Net operation launched by China's top anti-graft watchdog, the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

In another campaign dubbed Operation Fox Hunt 2015, launched by the Ministry of Public Security that sought to hunt down suspects who absconded to foreign countries with ill-gotten gains, 556 fugitives returned to China from 59 countries and regions from January to September 2015.

The government was unrelenting in its drive against corruption and bringing fugitives to justice in 2015, and kept the pressure up to the very last day of the year.

On Thursday, the top procuratorate announced that it was pursuing charges against Zhang Lijun, former vice-minister of environmental protection, who will face prosecution and remain in custody.

Meanwhile, the CCDI decided to expel Zhang from the Party and remove him from all posts.

The CCDI revealed the result of an investigation that found he was suspected of taking bribes for helping to promote officials, practicing nepotism, and accepting illicit money from companies.

The top anti-graft body also announced investigations into Wang Wei, head of the Social Development Department at the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic regulator, and two of his subordinates.

They are alleged to have "seriously violated the Party's disciplinary regulations".

On Thursday, the Ministry of National Defense announced the dismissal of a senior army officer alleged to have been linked to the death of a subordinate.

Zhang Yan, commander of the 26th Army, has been removed from his post for drinking with two of his subordinates and one of them died from excessive intake of alcohol, said Yang Yujun, a spokesman for the ministry.

Xinhua contributed to this story.