China and the United States will enhance law enforcement cooperation on the application of law and evidence exchanges to nab Chinese corrupt officials who are still at large in the US, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Jan 16.
“We are negotiating with our US counterparts with views to law application and collecting or transferring the evidence of some major cases under investigation,” said a statement from the ministry during a two-day seminar between China and the US on hunting the fugitives. The seminar concluded in Beijing on Jan 16.
“Some breakthroughs are expected to be achieved after these problems are solved,” the statement said.
According to Chinese authorities, China has composed “a priority list of Chinese corrupt officials” believed to be at large in the US, and has provided the list to US judicial authorities to request their assistance on major cases.
The ministry said it will hold several bilateral meetings with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement this year, to discuss repatriating Chinese fugitives from the US and confiscating their ill-gotten funds.
Recently, the US has become one of the most popular destinations for corrupt Chinese officials and directors of major State-owned companies to flee to, transferring large amounts of funds through money laundering and underground banks. By the beginning of last year, more than 150 corrupt Chinese officials for whom red warrants were issued by Interpol were believed to still be at large in the US, according to the ministry.
Most of the fugitives were suspected of corruption, accepting bribes, embezzlement, abuse of power and misappropriation of public funds.
Last July, the ministry initiated a six-month special action, dubbed “Fox Hunt”, to target Chinese suspected of economic crimes who had fled overseas and to recover their illicitly acquired proceeds.