'580 Chinese fugitives still at large in foreign countries'

Beijing, Dec 28 (ANI): Meng Qingfeng, head of Chinese economic crime investigation department under the Ministry of Public Security, has said that a total of 580 fugitives suspected of economic crimes are still at large in foreign countries, while most others are fleeing to North America and Southeast Asia.

The China Daily quoted Qingfeng as saying that these fugitives were involved in crimes like contract fraud, illegal fundraising, bank loan fraud and illegally transferring funds abroad.

"Most of them have escaped to North America and Southeast Asia," he added.

However, he said that since 2007, the number brought back from abroad by Chinese police has exceeded that of new fugitives, and added that police have arrested 250 fugitives in 20 countries and regions, including the United States 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," he added.

In recent years, a large number of Chinese criminal suspects have fled to Western nations because of their ideological and legal differences with their own country and to escape punishment, the paper said.

Qingfeng further said that different social and legal systems between China and other countries have made it more difficult to bring back the fugitives. However, now China has reportedly signed extradition treaties with 37 countries and criminal justice agreements with 47 countries to deal with the situation, it added. (ANI)

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