New agency to track down fugitives hiding overseas

Updated: 2016-01-28 04:00

By ZHAO LEI(China Daily)

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A new agency has been set up by the Ministry of Public Security to handle fugitives who have fled overseas.

The Department of Overseas Fugitives Affairs will help China to bring fugitives hiding overseas to justice and to retrieve stolen funds, the ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

It added that the "Fox Hunt" campaign, launched last year to hunt such fugitives, will continue this year.

The ministry said 857 fugitives were brought to China from 66 countries and regions between April and the end of December.

Law enforcement authorities launched the "Fox Hunt" campaign in April as part of the "Skynet" operation targeting suspected economic criminals.

Of the 857 suspects, 366 turned themselves in to Chinese police, 477 were caught by local law enforcement officers and 14 were prosecuted in local courts.

A total of 212 suspects allegedly embezzled or took bribes of up to 10 million yuan, according to the statement.

Fifty-eight of these suspects were allegedly linked with cases involving more than 100 million yuan ($15.2 million).

The statement said 39 of the suspects had been living overseas for more than 10 years, with one of them being at large for 21 years.

The ministry said 122 fugitives were linked with vocational crimes, a term usually used by Chinese authorities to refer to corruption.

The ministry and regional police sent more than 50 teams to overseas countries and regions to work with local law enforcement bodies and Chinese diplomatic missions to track and seize the fugitives.

Two suspects were sent back from the United States and a total of six were returned from Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Spain and Hungary.

Another 283 fugitives were captured in Southeast Asian countries including Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia.