Watchdog steps up fight against fugitive officials

Watchdog steps up fight against fugitive officials

A senior official from China's top anti-graft watchdog vowed on Friday to enhance international cooperation to catch corrupt officials who have fled overseas.

Huang Shuxian, vice-secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party of China, also said that Chinese anti-graft authorities will tighten regulations on officials' passports, keep a close eye on international capital flow and strictly follow regulations overseeing officials' spouses and children who have emigrated. These steps, Huang said, will prevent officials from fleeing overseas.

"Even though corrupt officials have fled to the end of the earth, we will bring them back to face the law," he said.

According to statistics released by the Ministry of Public Security, the police in China have arrested 128 suspects this year in the "Hunting Fox 2014" campaign, initiated by the ministry on July 22.

Since November 2012, when the CPC elected its new leadership, anti-corruption authorities have attached as much importance to the fight against officials who have fled overseas as they have with the anti-graft campaign.

In March, the watchdog established an international cooperation bureau during its structural reform to oversee the seizure of corrupt fugitives.

The Central Anti-Graft Coordination Team has since set up a special office to catch corrupt officials who flee overseas. The office consists of senior officials from multiple departments including the CCDI, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security and the People's Bank of China.

On Wednesday, the police in Liaoning province caught a suspect who had fled to the Republic of Korea after allegedly embezzling 25 million yuan (S$5.2 million) in public funds. The suspect, surnamed Lu, was a former senior manager of a State-owned investment company, according to the People's Daily.

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