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Beijing court's search engine helps puts squeeze on holdouts

By Cao Yin | | Updated: 2017-07-06 19:10

A web-based search engine for Beijing judges is making it easier and faster to tackle defendants who refuse to follow court orders, such as paying fines.

The system, set up last year in cooperation with 86 banks, allows judges at Beijing No 1 Intermediate People's Court to simply input a defaulter's ID number to find a full list of their assets — which can then be instantly frozen.

The system was used last year to force 574 people to cough up 460 million yuan ($68.9 million) in unpaid penalties, according to information released by the court on Thursday.

In all, the court froze assets worth a combined 3.86 billion yuan belonging to 2,104 defaulters.

"In the past, it was hard to find what these people owned, but the system makes it so much easier," said Jia Lianchun, deputy director of enforcement at the court.

Judges used to have to visit a bank to freeze a defaulter's assets, and it could take a week, he said, "but everything now can be done in a day, which is more efficient".

Wu Zaicun, president of the court, said enforcing court rulings is key to upholding justice.

"A lot of money is involved. For example, we heard 21 cases in which the money owned to the court was more than 100 million yuan," he said. "It means we need to be effective in getting defaulters to pay up."

The court also set up a credit blacklist for defaulters in cooperation with 44 government departments. Last year, 309 individuals and 312 companies were added to the list and banned from making big-ticket purchases.

"We wanted to take measures against those who refuse to comply with rulings, to ensure justice is done," Wu added.

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