China / Society

Economic fugitive 'relieved' to surrender

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou (Xinhua) Updated: 2014-11-26 14:22

An economic fugitive surnamed Zhang said he is relieved to have returned home and surrendered himself to police in the Guangdong provincial capital.

Zhang fled to the United States after being accused of taking part in a fraud involving hundreds of millions of yuan in 2009.

"I experienced many hardships when I was on the run," Zhang said after he landed at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport in September.

"I turned myself in when I could no longer endure the hardship of life as a fugitive abroad," Zhang was quoted as saying by police officers.

In addition to confessing his crime, Zhang told police of his time in the United States.

As the suspect in a fraud involving a large amount of money, Zhang said he was well known and vilified by his relatives, friends and business acquaintances after he fled abroad.

"None of the legitimate business people wanted to do business with me, and I used to be frequently harassed by local bullies and loafers," Zhang said.

"I felt I had no way out while on the run abroad when I learned that the police and relevant departments had expanded cooperation with other countries and regions to to track down economic fugitives worldwide."

After persuasion by police officers and his family members, Zhang returned home and surrendered himself to police.

According to Huang Shouying, director of the economic crimes investigation bureau under the Guangdong provincial department of public security, the police will recommend leniency for Zhang because of his penitent attitude.

Zhang is just one of many such suspects to be brought home.

"Police in the southern province had, by the end of Nov 20, detained 42 economic suspects who had escaped abroad," Huang told a press conference in Guangzhou on Tuesday.

In addition to 27 who were detained and extradited back to the Chinese mainland from the United States, Japan, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, Egypt, Taiwan, and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions, 15 surrendered of their own accord after speaking to police and family members.

Of the total, 14 economic fugitives were suspected to have taken part in crimes involving more than 10 million yuan ($1.64 million), and six had been hiding abroad for more than 10 years.

Guangdong has topped the provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions of China in the number of economic-crime suspects brought back from abroad since the nationwide "Fox Hunt 2014" campaign was launched in July.

Its recovered economic fugitives account for more than one-14th of the country’s total, Huang said.

He said efforts will continue to track down other economic fugitives from the province.


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