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Corrupt officials who fled abroad are now giving themselves in

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-11-18 09:44

More than half of the corrupt Chinese officials recently netted after fleeing abroad opted to turn themselves in, Xinhua has reported.

Yang Xiuzhu, the most wanted fugitive on the "red notice", returned to China and turned herself in on Wednesday after being on the run for 13 years.

She is one of 37 fugitives named on the "red notice" listing 100 major corrupt Chinese officials that have recently returned back to the country.

Of these, 22 were persuaded to turn themselves in.

China has three main ways to bring back fugitives; persuading them to surrender, repatriation and extradition.

In 2015, seven were persuaded to turn themselves in voluntarily, seven were repatriated and two were arrested in China, after the notice was issued by Interpol in April of that year.

Beijing Normal University criminal law expert Huang Feng said persuading fugitives to return, with the help of the host country's law enforcement agencies, was the easiest option.

He said it was the most economical and effective way to bring them back as it avoids the complex and lengthy procedures of extradition and repatriation.

The host countries may also repatriate the fugitives after receiving evidence of their crimes.

Yang Jinjun, the brother of Yang Xiuzhu, who fled to the United States in 2001 and was brought back in September last year, is the first of the "red notice" officials to be repatriated to China from the US.

While many of the more than 40 extradition treaties China has signed with foreign countries are with Asian and developing countries, some countries, including the US, Canada and some European countries, are popular destinations for fleeing corrupt Chinese officials.

Two of China's most-wanted fugitives, suspected of economic crimes, will be extradited from France to face trial at home, a senior official from the Ministry of Public Security confirmed earlier this month.

More fugitives are expected to be sent back now that China is ready to begin talks about sharing confiscated ill-gotten assets with cooperative governments, the Chinese law-enforcement official said.

As of June 2016, China has brought back 2,210 fugitives, with 363 former employees of government agencies or related entities, from more than 70 countries and regions, and recovered illegal money and assets of 8 billion yuan ($1.16 billion), according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

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