China / Society

Despite plastic surgery, fugitive executive caught

By Xinhua in Nanchang (China Daily) Updated: 2015-12-19 08:08

Police have detained an investment executive accused of embezzling millions of dollars, despite the fact that he had fled to Thailand and underwent plastic surgery, police in Jiangxi province said on Thursday.

The fugitive, surnamed He, was captured in Pattaya, Thailand, on Nov 25, shortly after returning from a trip to Bangkok, where he had undergone surgery to evade detection, according to the police.

A local court in China had issued an arrest warrant for He in July, and the Ministry of Public Security listed him on Interpol's red notices.

He was accused of illegal fundraising and embezzlement involving 160 million yuan ($24.7 million) from January 2013 to July this year, as the legal representative of an investment management company.

Upon meeting the fugitive face-to-face, police officers could barely recognize him.

"The changes are conspicuous. He got double eyelid surgery and removed fat around his cheeks, although his body shape remained roughly the same," said a police officer surnamed Huang. "Clues led us to believe that he went for laser eye surgery."

The tactic is rare but not unheard for China's international fugitives.

In the late 1990s, a famous Chinese fugitive, Chen Manxiong, bleached his skin and hid his identity, living as a businessman in Thailand for nearly five years until his arrest.

More than 700 Chinese fugitives suspected of involvement in economic crimes have been brought home from abroad since April to stand trial, according to China's anti-corruption authorities.

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