US deports more criminal suspects to China

September 25, 2015 08:46
Kuang Wanfang (center) is shown after arriving at Fuzhou’s Changle airport  on Thursday following her deportation from the US. Photo: Zuma

US authorities have deported a group of criminal suspects to China for the second time in a week.

On Thursday, eight people were sent back to China but their names were not released.

The deportations are the latest sign of tighter law enforcement cooperation between China and the United States despite the absence of a formal extradition treaty, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“These individuals are among the priorities for immigration enforcement due to their serious criminal histories,” a US immigration official said.

Last week, US and Chinese authorities announced the deportation of a man facing corruption charges tied to a case against his sister, a former Chinese government bureaucrat who remains in a US prison awaiting deportation.

In the latest action, local authorities named only one person -- Kuang Wanfang, a figure in a well-known case of alleged embezzlement at state-owned Bank of China Ltd.

In 2008, a US court convicted Kuang along with others in a scheme to bilk the bank of US$485 million and launder the money through casinos and the US financial system.

She was sentenced to eight years i prison.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Beijing confirmed Kuang “was removed from the United States via immigration proceedings” and returned to China.

Kuang, also known as Wendy, was once a naturalized US citizen before authorities determined she had lied about her marital status to qualify.

She couldn’t be reached for comment and it was unclear whether she has a lawyer.

A statement from China’s anti-corruption agency said authorities in the southern province of Guangdong, where  Kuang landed aboard a private jet on Thursday and where the bank theft took place, would investigate her for suspected criminal acts of corruption and bribery.

Photos and video on state television showed her in police custody but without handcuffs and wearing street clothes.

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