Escaped ex-city Party chief surrenders

2014-12-23 06:07:26 GMT2014-12-23 14:07:26(Beijing Time)  China Daily
Wang Guoqiang, center, arrives at the Beijing Capital Airport on Dec 22, 2014. [Photo/ CCDI website]Wang Guoqiang, center, arrives at the Beijing Capital Airport on Dec 22, 2014. [Photo/ CCDI website]
Wang Guoqiang hands his confession statement to discipline officials at the airport, Dec 22. [Photo/ CCDI website]Wang Guoqiang hands his confession statement to discipline officials at the airport, Dec 22. [Photo/ CCDI website]

A former city Party chief who had fled to the United States reportedly with 200 million yuan ($32.1 million) returned to China and turned himself in to the discipline authority on Monday, according to the website of Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Wang Guoqiang, former Party chief of Fengcheng city in northeast China's Liaoning province, fled in 2012 and returned following the joint efforts of various central departments and local authorities. The United States also provided support to the Chinese authority, according to the commission.

In a video released by CCTV, Wang handed himself along with his confession statement to the officials.

"I was living in extreme fear and helplessness when I was in the US," Wang said in the video."China's policies for fleeing officials who are ready to come back are attractive and I should face up to the facts, surrender myself and submit to investigation."

This was one of the key cases currently being handled by a high-ranking anti-corruption office in its quest to repatriate suspects and return stolen assets to the state in the country's wider anti-corruption drive.

In July, China launched an operation named Fox Hunt 2014, targeting corrupt officials and suspects of economic crimes who had fled the country. The goal was to "block the last route of retreat" for corrupt officials and narrow the space for abuse of power.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China has signed an agreement on judicial assistance, extradition, and the transferring of convicted persons with around 63 countries.

Those who confess to their crimes and return to China voluntarily would be given a lighter or mitigated punishment if they did so before Dec 1, 2014, according to an announcement jointly released by the Ministry of Public Affairs and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Oct 10.

At least 154 fugitives suspected of economic crimes have turned themselves in ahead of the Dec 1 deadline and at least 335 fugitive suspects have been caught in the operation.

Those who have officially expressed their willingness to surrender before the deadline but failed to return to China due to documentation process or working arrangements will also be granted lighter punishment as long as they can return before the end of 2014, public security authority said in an earlier report.

 

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Editor: Zhao Wei
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