Date
26 March 2017
Since 2014, China's anti-graft body has brought back to the country 1,915 people from more than 70 countries, along with 7.47 billion yuan. Photo: CCTV
Since 2014, China's anti-graft body has brought back to the country 1,915 people from more than 70 countries, along with 7.47 billion yuan. Photo: CCTV

China says a third of top graft suspects abroad caught

China has brought back to the country one-third of those on its top 100 list of most-wanted corruption suspects who have fled overseas, the ruling Communist Party’s top graft buster said.

China issued the list in 2014 of people subject to an Interpol “red notice” – the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant.

Since then, 33 of those people have been caught, Reuters reports, citing a short statement issued by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection on Tuesday.

Over the past two years, since setting up a team to chase graft suspects across the globe, the commission has returned to China 1,915 people from more than 70 countries, along with 7.47 billion yuan (US$1.12 billion), it said.

It provided no other details.

China has been seeking more international cooperation to hunt down suspected corrupt officials who have fled overseas since President Xi Jinping began a drive against deeply rooted graft almost four years ago.

Western countries, however, have been reluctant to help, or to sign extradition treaties, not wanting to send people back to a country where rights groups say mistreatment of criminal suspects remains a problem.

They also complain China is unwilling to provide proof of their crimes.

China has instead turned to persuasion to get people back from countries like Canada and the United States, where many graft suspects have gone.

Separately, the commission said that G20 countries who have just finished a summit in the Chinese city of Hangzhou had agreed to set up a research center in China to look at the issue of returning corrupt officials and their assets.

The G20 communique said the research center would “be operated in line with international norms”.

Deputy head of the commission’s international cooperation department Cai Wei said the research center would help China’s global efforts to fight corruption.

Xinhua news agency said the center would be based at Beijing Normal University and experts from other G20 countries would be invited to join it.

They would look at issues such as legal mechanisms for extradition.

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RC/CG

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