Two-year fugitive caught in Shaanxi
GUANGZHOU: A fugitive suspected of embezzling more than US$2 million of public money has been captured in Shaanxi Province over the weekend.
Li Yongqiu, who had been on the run for more than two years, was taken back to his hometown of Foshan, a prosperous city in the Pearl River Delta of Guangdong Province.
An official from the Foshan Municipal Bureau of Public Security said yesterday an investigation is now taking place.
Forty-year-old Li was the general manager and legal representative of Zhongnan Economic Development Co Ltd.
He is suspected of embezzling public money to pay off big gambling debts.
Li was identified as a fugitive when about to take a train from Baoji of Shaanxi Province last week.
He was stopped by railway police and asked to show his identity card. He had a fake card but took out his real one by mistake. The officers recognized him and arrested him.
Li is suspected of embezzling 21.5 million yuan (US$2.6 million) when in office between 1997 and 2002.
Li went on the run at the beginning of 2003.
Foshan Municipal Intermediate People's Procuratorate immediately listed him as wanted and sought help from around the country to capture him.
Foshan police also offered a reward worth 20,000 yuan (US$2,430) for Li's capture.
Baoji police informed Foshan police they believed they had Li after two hours of questioning and he was flown back to Foshan on the same day.
Sources said Li hid in the countryside without revealing his identity to local people.
He was detained by police when trying to take a train for the first time in two years.
After he left Guangdong Province, Li passed himself off as a beggar and lived in rural counties and townships.
Li is thought to have been collaborating with Liang Fuzhao, former vice-mayor of the province's Nanhai city.
Local media reported that Liang was captured in July last year in Cambodia.
His trial is pending.
(China Daily 04/12/2005 page3)