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Fox Hunt brings back150 economic fugitives from 32 countries

Zhang Yi
Updated: May 15,2015 7:58 AM     China Daily

Chinese police departments have brought back 150 economic fugitives from 32 countries since the beginning of the year and intensified their efforts to curb economic crimes.

Eight of the suspects had been on the run for more than 10 years, and 44 of them were involved in cases relating to tens of millions of yuan.

Gao Feng, the political commissar of the economic crimes bureau at the Public Security Ministry, said the result is part of the campaign dubbed Operation Fox Hunt 2015 that sought to hunt down suspects who absconded to foreign countries with their ill-gotten gains.

Gao said China will continue to work with other countries to repatriate economic crime suspects and assist the operation of Sky Net launched by China’s top anti-graft authority.

The ministry announced an “unprecedented” haul of 680 suspects, who absconded to 69 countries and regions, from July to December in Operation Fox Hunt 2014, 4.5 times the total number in 2013. Among them were 117 suspects who had been at large for more than a decade and 390 people who turned themselves in.

The ministry also stressed their efforts in cracking down on domestic economic crime, which has risen sharply in recent years and caused enormous economic loss to people and various entities.

A total number of 100,000 economic crime cases involving nearly 192 billion yuan ($31 billion) have been dealt with, mainly illegally fundraising from the public, credit card fraud, producing fake commodities and currency in the Chinese mainland, Gao said.

Illegally soliciting money from the public is the toughest economic crime for the police to deal with because the culprits usually solicit money under the guise of attractive investments, he said, adding that these crimes frequently occur in sectors such as investment consultation, investment guarantees and online loans.

Cases of deliberate overdrafts on credit cards increased by more than 50 percent in some provinces last year, according to the ministry. Counterfeit credit cards rings were found to be producing fake cards with upgraded technology, making it hard for banks to detect.