China Puts Spotlight on 22 Fugitive Officials Hiding Abroad
(Beijing) — China has released detailed information on 22 former government officials and senior executives at state-owned companies wanted for alleged crimes and now in hiding in foreign countries.
The office overseeing international operations to hunt down the wanted officials released a statement Thursday providing details on where each might be, why they are wanted and the details on their travel documents at the time when they left China.
One of the wanted officials is Cheng Muyang, identified by the central government office as former president of a Hong Kong investment firm and former general manager of an advertising company in Beijing. He fled China in August 2000 when he was suspected of embezzlement. He is now believed to be living in Canada.
Cheng first fled to New Zealand with travel documents numbered H90090555 and H0070701900, according to the official statement, which does not identify the type of documents he used.
Cheng, 47, is the son of former party secretary of the northern province of Hebei, Cheng Weigao. In 2003, the father was put under investigation for serious violation of party discipline, a euphemism for corruption, but died in 2010 without being charged.
Ten of the 22 fugitives are now thought to be living in the United States, five in Canada, four in New Zealand and one each in the U.K., Australia and the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean, according to the statement.
The 22 are among 100 fugitive officials put on Interpol red alerts by China, according to a list released by the top anti-graft agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).
Forty of those 100 have returned voluntarily or been repatriated to China, official statistics show.
The spotlight was put on the 22 to exert pressure on them in the hope of driving them out of hiding, according to Liu Jianchao, director of the CCDI’s International Cooperation Bureau, who leads international operations targeting fugitives.
“We need to exert more pressure on them, as we’re in a critical juncture in operations against them,” Liu told state broadcaster China Central Television.
The national anti-fugitive office also appealed to Chinese living overseas and foreigners not to help the 22 hide.
Contact reporter Li Rongde (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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