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China weaves global net to snag crooked officials

2014-10-11 08:33 Xinhua Web Editor: Gu Liping

If China is to repatriate and try the legions of corrupt officials who have absconded overseas, better cooperation with foreign law enforcers is a must, a senior anti-graft official said.

"Our campaign to seize fleeing officials and retrieve what they have stolen will become an important aspect of our political and diplomatic ties with other nations... focused on persuading foreign governments not to harbor these criminals," said Huang Shuxian, vice secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

China needs new, more effective international pacts on extradition and judicial assistance factored into the anti-corruption mechanism, said Huang

Huang oversees overseas coordination for the central anti-corruption coordination group. His office analyzes the cases of officials on the lam, and supervises their pursuit. The Supreme People's Court, the People's Bank of China and ministries of foreign affairs and public security are all involved.

"We are working hard to make sure that there is no safe haven abroad for the corrupt and that they are brought back home to justice, even from the end of the world."

Since Fox Hunt 2014--a special operation against suspects hiding overseas--began in July, 128 suspects in more than 40 countries and regions have been arrested and are either serving sentences overseas or have been returned to face trial.

A break for the border is seen as the last resort for corrupt officials at a time when the space for abuse of power in China is rapidly shrinking.

If departments report suspected officials and take action swiftly, passports, money flows and family movements could be more closely watched, Huang said.

"Wherever these crooked officials flee and however long they have been in hiding, we will find them and bring them back to justice," Huang said, urging that only by giving themselves up could suspects expect any leniency.

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