International review Investigation

One of China’s 100 most wanted corruption fugitives gives himself up


This material belongs to: South China Morning Post.

A Chinese corruption suspect who was on the country’s list of 100 most wanted overseas fugitives has returned to China from the United States after giving himself up, China’s anti-graft watchdog said on Monday.

Xu Xuewei, who ran a technology company in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu, fled to the United States in 2012 after he was suspected of contract fraud, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Xu returned to China to give himself up “under the influence of policy and legal deterrence”, the commission said, without elaborating.

It was not immediately possible to reach Xu, his family or a legal representative for comment.

Separately, the commission played a short interview with another corruption suspect, former Beijing driving school headmaster Liu Changkai, who turned himself in last month and had been on the run in the United States since 1999 having been wanted for fraud.

Against a background of downbeat music, Liu described his loneliness at having had to live on the lam.

“Living overseas wasn’t too difficult, but it was very lonely. It was like being in jail,” Liu said.

It was also not possible to reach Liu or a representative for comment.

As part of President Xi Jinping’s vigorous anti-corruption campaign, China has pursued an overseas search dubbed Operation Fox Hunt for corrupt officials and business executives who have fled abroad with their assets.

Chinese authorities published a list of 100 “most wanted” suspects two years ago it believes to be hiding overseas, many living in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Xu is the 46th person on the list to have returned to China since the operation was launched, the commission said in a statement on its website.

Liu was the 19th person on the list.

Many Western countries, however, have been reluctant to help, or to sign extradition treaties, unwilling to send people back to a country where rights groups say mistreatment of criminal suspects remains a problem.

They also complain China is often unwilling to provide proof of the crimes that would be acceptable to a Western court.