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Fugitive turns himself in after 17 years

By Zhang Yi | China Daily | Updated: 2017-03-10 07:51

Wang Jiazhe, an economic fugitive, has turned himself in to the anti-corruption authority in Liaoning province after more than 17 years on the run in the United States, China's top anti-graft body said in a statement on Thursday.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said that Wang is No 40 on Interpol's list of the 100 most-wanted Chinese fugitives at large overseas.

Fugitive turns himself in after 17 years
Wang Jiazhe
Wang, 55, a former employee of Liaoning Daily, fled to the US in January 2000, according to the statement.

He was suspected of having committed contract fraud in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, and was accused of the crime in around July 2001. Interpol issued a "red notice"-an international arrest warrant-for him on Nov 18, 2011.

According to a report by Shenyang Evening News, Wang was alleged to have defrauded a bank in Shenyang of 3.5 million yuan ($506,600).

So far, 39 people on the Interpol list have returned since the list was issued in April 2015, including No 1 on the list, Yang Xiuzhu.

The former deputy mayor of Wenzhou in Zhejiang province was accused of taking bribes totaling 250 million yuan in 2003. She was apprehended by US authorities for entering the country illegally in 2014 and was returned to China in November last year.

Since 2014, China has stepped up its efforts to capture overseas fugitives, as part of an intensified anti-graft drive.

The CCDI International Cooperation Department was set up in 2014 to facilitate operations targeting fugitives overseas.

The Ministry of Public Security launched a special operation code-named "Fox Hunt", while the Supreme People's Procuratorate began an operation targeting people who were set to be tried for dereliction of duty but absconded overseas before their case went to court.

In 2015, the CCDI launched a law enforcement program, dubbed "Sky Net", aimed at coordinating efforts to bring errant fugitives to justice.

Efforts to capture corrupt fugitives have been effective. Between early 2014 and the end of last year, judicial officers had returned 2,566 corrupt fugitives from more than 70 countries and regions, including the US, Canada and Singapore, according to the CCDI. They also confiscated 8.64 billion yuan in illegal assets.

However, according to previous reports, more than half of the economic fugitives on Interpol's list are still at large in the US and Canada.

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