China / Government

China launches 'Sky Net' campaign to capture fugitive officials

By CUI JIA (China Daily) Updated: 2015-03-27 10:41

China launches 'Sky Net' campaign to capture fugitive officials

An economic fraud suspect (right) is returned to Beijing under police escort on Tuesday after 10 years on the run in Italy, marking the first extradition of its kind to China from a European country, according to the Ministry of Public Security. The suspect, who worked at a securities company in Hebei province, is suspected of stealing more than 1.4 million yuan ($223,700) from clients between January 2000 and January 2005. [Photo/Xinhua]

Those who help transfer embezzled money out of the country will also face punishment

The central government has intensified efforts to hunt down corrupt officials who fled abroad by launching a major campaign, which aims to bring back a number of suspects this year by coordinating top authorities, China's top anti-corruption body said on Thursday.

The campaign, code-named "Sky Net", which aims to arrest a number of corrupt officials and persuade some who have fled to turn themselves in, will be launched in April, according to the website of the Communist Party of China's Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

The central government is also determined to crack down on underground banks and offshore companies that help officials to transfer embezzled money overseas.

As part of the campaign, authorities will confiscate the identification documents that officials applied for by violating regulations. Those who provide assistance in the process will be punished.

Huang Shuxian, deputy director of the CCDI and head of the central government's coordination work group tracking down fugitive officials and their ill-gotten gains, vowed to intensify the efforts to bring back corrupt officials and prevent more from getting away.

Huang made the promise after announcing the launch of the campaign, which will involve the country's top court, top procuratorate and the ministries of foreign affairs, public security, state security and justice, as well as the central bank.

The CCDI has previously revealed that major channels for launching an international manhunt for suspected corrupt officials include asking a foreign country for extradition, repatriation of illegal immigrants as well as asking suspects to voluntarily turn themselves in.

Through bilateral treaties, the domestic law of foreign countries, foreign litigation as well as Chinese criminal policies and procedures, authorities may also retrieve officials' illegal gains from abroad.

The CCDI has a round-the-clock system to receive reports of fugitive suspects from other central and local government departments. It said the commission is also receiving public reports worldwide.

China has signed extradition treaties with 39 countries and criminal judicial assistance treaties with 52 countries. Moreover, it has signed 124 agreements or memorandums with 91 countries, regions and international organizations, the CCDI said.

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