'Smuggler Lai can't escape law punishment'
Updated: 2006-03-04 15:13
Lai Changxing, the leading suspect in China's most notorious smuggling case
involving 10 billion U.S. dollars worth of smuggled goods now at large in
Canada, will sure be extradited to China and receive punishment according to
Chinese law, a senior political advisor has said.
"I'm optimistic about the final extradition of Lai," said Zhu Entao, former
assistant to China's minister of public security and a member of the 10th
National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference
(CPPCC), the country's top advisory body which is in a 10-day annual full
Lai, whose political asylum application has been rejected by the Canadian
authorities, is likely to be sent back to China after the Canadian side
completes the final pre-deportation procedures of risk appraisal, said Zhu, also
honorary vice-chairman of Interpol.
"The procedures might end in three to five months," Zhu was quoted as saying
by the Beijing News newspaper.
Lai was accused of being the mastermind of a criminal ring which had
conducted, in collaboration with corrupt officials, the biggest smuggling
operation uncovered in China since 1949. Lai fled to Canada with his family in
According to Zhu, China has made substantial progress over the past few years
in judicial cooperation with foreign countries in apprehending and extraditing
the country's corrupt officials on the run.
The Chinese police are now negotiating with their Dutch counterparts on the
extradition of Yang Xiuzhu, a former official in east China's booming coastal
province of Zhejiang charged with taking huge sums of bribes. Yang, former
deputy director of the Zhejiang Provincial Construction Department, fled to the
United States after her case was exposed, and was arrested by the Dutch police
when she visited the Netherlands in May, 2005.
"Yang will sure be extradited," said Zhu.
Two years ago, Yu Zhendong, a corrupt banker in the southern province of
Guangdong accused of stealing huge amount of public money before fleeing to the
United States, was brought back to China, setting an example of sound China-U.S.
In the latest development, the U.S. Justice Department last month launched an
indictment against two former Chinese bank managers allegedly to have
transferred embezzled fund or done business with it abroad and forged passports
The move of the U.S. side has won wide applause from among Chinese officials
and law experts, who consider it a warning to more than 4,000 corrupt Chinese
officials on the run abroad.