580 Chinese wanted for economic crimes at large abroad

Beijing, Dec 28 (IANS) As many as 580 Chinese fugitives involved in economic crimes are at large in foreign countries, said a senior police officer.

Meng Qingfeng, head of the economic crime investigation department under the Ministry of Public Security, said the fugitives have been involved in various crimes including illegal fundraising, bank loan fraud and illegally transferring funds abroad.

‘Most of them have escaped to North America and Southeast Asia,’ Meng told China Daily Tuesday.

He said that since 2007 the number brought back to China from foreign countries by the police has exceeded that of new fugitives.

Chinese police have nabbed over 250 fugitives in 20 countries, including the US and Canada, since 2006.

‘On the one hand, economic crime investigation departments have stepped up efforts to trace and arrest fugitives who have fled abroad.

‘On the other hand, we have set up a prevention mechanism to effectively curb fugitives fleeing to other countries,’ Meng was quoted as saying.

The media report said that the biggest hurdle in bringing back fugitives is an absence of extradition treaties between China and some Western countries.

Meng said that China has signed extradition treaties with 37 countries and criminal justice agreements with 47 countries.

‘China will adhere to relevant international conventions to protect the human rights and other legitimate rights of the fugitives in line with China’s laws and regulations.’

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