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Bring corrupt officials home

China Daily | Updated: 2014-09-22 08:26

IN JUST TWO MONTHS, 88 CHINESE SUSPECTED of economic crimes who were on the run overseas have been caught and brought back. This highlights not just the efficiency of the "Fox Hunt 2014" action launched by the Ministry of Public Security in July, but also the severity of the issue.

That figure is more than half the number of such fugitives caught and brought back from overseas in 2013. Of the 88, 11 have been on the run for more than 10 years, which proves how hard it is to chase corrupt elements on the run overseas.

That 35 of the 88, have been persuaded to return and turn themselves in suggests that the psychological tactic the public security department has employed is working.

It is no exaggeration to say whether the majority of corrupt elements on the run overseas can be brought to justice is of great importance to the continuing anti-graft fight at home.

Escape to some Western countries with the fortune they have made through their abuse of power has long been considered by many corrupt officials the best way to evade the penalties they deserve. This also explains why so many of them have no scruples when it comes to the abuse of power. It also explains why some officials choose to send their wives and children abroad first in preparation for their own flight in the end.

What the "fox hunt" has achieved in the past two months should serve as a warning to officials who cherish the hope of escaping with their illegal gains overseas that it is no longer safe to do so.

With increasing cooperation between China's public security departments and the International Criminal Police Organization and their counterparts in a growing number of countries, the chances for corrupt elements to get away with the economic crimes they've committed by running away to a foreign land are dwindling. This will quite probably make many of them think twice before taking bribes and embezzling public money.

It is still very difficult and costly to bring overseas escapees to justice. Therefore more has been done to block the channels for them to flee overseas. Now officials whose families are already settled abroad will find it difficult to get promotions and they will be sidelined to unimportant positions. They will also have to go through strict procedures if they want to go abroad.

These are necessary measures to prevent more corrupt elements from fleeing overseas.


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