APEC economies decide to launch anti-corruption network

Updated: 2014-11-11 21:55

By Zhang Yan (chinadaily.com.cn)

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The leaders of APEC economies are committed to strengthening cooperation and coordination on repatriating corrupt officials and recovery of their illicitly-acquired assets, according to an APEC economic leaders declaration released on Tuesday.

The APEC economic leaders commend the strong resolve shown in fighting corruption, including through effective anti-corruption measures.

"We will work together to fight against corruption and deny safe heavens for the corrupt officials and their transferred ill-gotten assets," the declaration said.

Meanwhile, they are "in support of Beijing's declaration on fighting corruption and will adhere to relevant Asia-Pacific regional laws to combat corruption crimes."

In addition, where appropriate, they will make use of anti-corruption mechanisms and platforms, such as the APEC network of anti-corruption and law enforcement agencies to combat corruption (ACT-NET), according to the declaration.

In an earlier APEC ministerial meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, the APEC economies have set up a law enforcement cooperation network to crack down on corrupt officials.

The network, known as Act-Net will be based at the training arm of the Communist Party's central disciplinary inspection commission – the top anti-graft watchdog - which will conduct initial investigations into suspected corrupt officials, and send them to the judicial organs for prosecution when there is enough criminal evidence.

"The network will use extradition, mutual legal assistance and the recovery and return of the proceeds of corruption as the means to tackle graft across borders, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal," it reported.

The APEC Ministerial Meeting has set up a law enforcement cooperation network to crack down on corruption, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

Hong Daode, a law professor at China University of Political Science and Law said that enhancing law enforcement cooperation among APEC economic leaders will deter corrupt officials.

In recent years, many corrupt officials have fled to the US, Canada, Australia and some Southeast Asian and European countries to avoid law enforcement officers' prosecution, and police officers face practical difficulties trying to locate them, he said.

"After setting up an Asia-Pacific regional anti-graft network, the relevant countries will intensify cooperation to share intelligence information, case investigation and conduct joint operations to track down those corrupt officials and recover their assets," Hong said.