China nets 680 fugitives in anti-graft drive

Updated: 2015-01-08 11:48


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China nets 680 fugitives in anti-graft drive

A former high-ranking official on run arrives at Beijing Capital Airport on Dec 22, 2014, after he turned himself in to the police. [Photo/Website of Central Committee for Discipline Inspection]

At least 680 economic fugitives have been nabbed from 69 countries and regions since a crackdown was launched in July on suspects fleeing overseas, said the Ministry of Public Security at a news conference on Thursday.

The number of economic fugitives caught is 4.5 times that of 2013. Among the fugitives arrested, 74 of them were involved in financial crimes each valued over 100 million yuan ($16.4 million) and 390 were persuaded to return to confess their crimes.

"I was living in extreme fear and helplessness when I was in the US," said Wang Guoqiang, former Party chief of a city in Northeast China, when turning himself in to the police in 2014. Wang fled to the United States in 2012 reportedly with 200 million yuan.

In July, China launched an operation named Fox Hunt 2014, targeting corrupt officials and suspects of economic crimes who had fled the country. The goal was to "block the last route of retreat" for corrupt officials and narrow the space for abuse of power.

China has signed agreement on judicial assistance, extradition, and the transferring of convicted persons with around 63 countries in the campaign to bring economic fugitives back home, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.