The Ministry of Public Security has launched a new round of its campaign code-named “Fox Hunt 2015” to track down corrupt Chinese officials who are still at large overseas and confiscate their ill-gotten assets, the ministry said on March 31.
The special action starts on April 1 and will last until the end of December, according to the ministry.
“As part of the ‘Skynet’ action to fight corruption, we will focus on nabbing corrupt officials or suspects with duty-related crimes who fled to major Western countries, including the US, Canada and Australia,” said a statement by the ministry.
The ministry will work closely with the People’s Bank of China and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange to monitor the suspicious flow of funds remitted to foreign accounts, according to the statement. The ministry will also enhance supervision over offshore companies and crack down on underground banks to prevent suspects from illegally transferring proceeds abroad.
In addition, police officers will dig up such cases and obtain solid evidence at home, then provide them to foreign counterparts to request them to assist in locating the suspects, and freezing and confiscating the suspects’ illicitly acquired proceeds.
“We will enhance communication with our foreign counterparts and establish or expand judicial cooperation channels with them to improve work efficiency,” the statement said.
In recent years, a large number of corrupt Chinese officials have fled to popular destinations, including the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore, due to legal differences and a lack of extradition treaties.
Meanwhile, a number of corrupt officials, mostly government officials or senior managers from State-owned companies, illegally transferred millions of dollars to foreign countries through money laundering and underground banks.
From July to January, the ministry conducted a special action dubbed “Fox Hunt” to target Chinese economic fugitives and confiscate their illegal funds. During the action, police officials brought back 680 economic fugitives from 69 countries and regions.
“The priority is to obtain complete evidence for each individual case, then offer them to foreign countries to request judicial assistance,” said Huang Feng, a law professor from Beijing Normal University.