China / Society

Corruption suspect recounts life on the run

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-20 21:26

BEIJING - China's anti-corruption authority has published an article written by Wang Guoqiang, an escaped corruption suspect who turned himself in last year, about his life as a fugitive.

The article by Wang, former Party chief of Fengcheng City in northeast China's Liaoning Province, was published on the website of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Wang returned to China from the United States and turned himself in to the discipline authority in December after more than two years of life on the run in America.

Looking back on his days as a fugitive, Wang said, "I hate myself for bringing my wife and myself to such an abyss."

Wang said that during his two years and eight months in the United States, he and his wife did not dare to use their passports, see doctors, contact their relatives in China or visit their friends in the U.S.

"Most of the time, we stayed in the cramped room we rented and only went out to buy food in the evening," he wrote.

Wang said they had to frequently change their residence to avoid the suspicion of others.

They had to live in shared rooms since subleasing would not require their passports.

The couple ate the cheapest food, did not buy any new clothes or cosmetics and did not dare to go to hair salon.

He said they stuck to the outer suburbs of American cities and never once visited downtown.

Nor did they go to hospitals, as seeing a doctor would also require showing a passport. For the same reason, they were not eligible to buy prescription medicine. "I was almost killed by a serious heart attack one time," Wang said.

"But now, I am glad that I have finally made the right choice to return home and atone for my crimes," he wrote.

Wang's confession is part of a report on how the CCDI is working to bring back corruption suspects who flee abroad.

The CCDI said it is working with the country's top court, top procuratorate, ministries of foreign affairs, public security, state security and justice as well as the central bank in an international manhunt for suspected corrupt officials.

The CCDI revealed that major channels to pursue such fugitives include asking a foreign country for extradition, repatriation of illegal immigrants as well as asking suspects to voluntarily turn themselves in.

Through bilateral treaties, the domestic law of foreign countries, foreign litigation as well as Chinese criminal policies and procedures, authorities may also retrieve officials' illegal gains from abroad.

The report said the CCDI has an around-the-clock system to receive reports of fugitive suspects from other central and local government departments. It said the commission is also receiving public reports from around the world.

China has signed extradition treaties with 39 countries and criminal judicial assistance treaties with 52 countries.

Moreover, it has signed 124 agreements or memoranda with 91 countries, regions or international organizations, the CCDI said.

The country is also making efforts to promote anti-corruption cooperation under multilateral agreements.

Earlier this week, media reports revealed that Qiao Jianjun, a former official with a branch of China's government grain storage, and his ex-wife were indicted in the United States on money laundering and immigration fraud charges.

American law enforcement officers have arrested the official's ex-wife and Qiao himself remains at large, according to the reports.

The CCDI said that more than 500 Chinese officials who have escaped abroad were brought to justice last year and authorities confiscated illegal gains of over 3 billion yuan (485 million U.S. dollars).

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