Worldwide tips aid in graft fight

Worldwide tips aid in graft fight

China's anti-corruption system is receiving "high-quality" tips from around the world and is ready to take further action to catch more former public officials who have escaped abroad with ill-gotten gains.

A senior official from the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection told China Daily that the top anti-graft watchdog had received more than 100 "valuable clues" since it opened an Internet channel for tips in December.

Worldwide tips aid in graft fight

"Many of the clues we received are of high quality, and some, after our careful verification, have been used as key evidence to assist the nation's anti-corruption manhunt," said an official from the CCDI's international co-operation bureau who declined to reveal his name.

He said that about 60 per cent of the clues came from other countries, including the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore. Many overseas Chinese and local people provided valuable clues involving the location of fugitives and their assets, including bank deposits and properties.

The other 40 per cent were reported by people in China, who offered evidence about so-called "naked" officials - those who may be preparing to flee the country after sending their family abroad.

In recent years, the US, Canada and Australia have become big destinations for corrupt Chinese officials due legal differences and the lack of extradition treaties.

Meanwhile, a number of corrupt officials have transferred millions, if not billions, of yuan to their foreign accounts through money laundering and underground banks.

The official said that more than 10 special anti-graft officers are taking charge of dealing with the clues received online.

"Once we receive such clues, we will give timely feedback to those who report information while classifying and analysing the clues and sending them to judicial authorities for verification. And those valuable clues will be provided as evidence to the countries concerned."

He said they welcome more valuable clues and will pay attention to protecting the whistleblowers' rights.

In April, Chinese judicial authorities launched an action code-named "Skynet" to hunt down corrupt officials at large overseas and confiscate their illegal assets. The action will last until the end of December, according to the CCDI.

To date, three fugitives suspected of economic crimes have been brought back to China to face trial from Laos and Greece, including one accused of illegally raising public funds of 44 million yuan (S$9.7 million) after spending two years on the run in Greece, setting an example for enhanced co-operation with European countries to extradite more Chinese fugitives.

Huang Feng, law professor from Beijing Normal University, said, "the priority for nabbing the fugitives is to obtain complete evidence for each individual case."

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