China / Society

2 suspects in Chinese bank scam surrender

By Xinhua (China Daily) Updated: 2014-08-15 08:20

2 suspects in Chinese bank scam surrender

Two suspects in a major economic crime recently gave themselves up and returned to China from Cambodia after being at large for 10 years, the Ministry of Public Security said on Wednesday.

The chase dates to July 2004, when police in North China's Shanxi province found that 30-plus suspects-including the two who just surrendered, surnamed Zhu and Kong-allegedly lured 35 groups to deposit funds in designated banks with the promise of high interest. Then the suspects conspired with bank staff to transfer the money into their own pockets, the ministry said in a statement.

Their crimes, from January 2002 to July 2004, involved 13 branches of five banks and amounted to 73 cases, leading to "huge economic losses", the statement said.

According to the police, Zhu and Kong fled the country after they took part in a 150 million yuan ($24.4 million) swindle in July 2003.

In December 2004, Interpol issued a red notice, which seeks the location and arrest of fugitives with a view to extradition or similar lawful action, for the two. Over the past 10 years, Chinese police cooperated with counterparts in Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and the regions of Hong Kong and Macao and detained six suspects.

"Under huge pressure from police authorities, Zhu made contact and said the two were willing to negotiate with police in Cambodia to give themselves up," the ministry statement said.

Zhu and Kong returned to China in July and are now in Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi.

According to the ministry, 18 suspects in major economic crimes who fled abroad have been arrested and returned since a operation began on July 22 to hunt down corrupt officials and criminal suspects hiding overseas.

The operation, dubbed Fox Hunt 2014, is intended to block the last route of retreat for corrupt officials at a time when China's major crackdown on graft has already narrowed the space for abuse of power.

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