Chinese police take back fugitive from France

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France has repatriated a Chinese fugitive for the first time since the two nations signed an extradition treaty that took effect in 2015, the Ministry of Public Security said on Monday.

A fugitive repatriated from France arrives in Beijing on September 15, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

A fugitive repatriated from France arrives in Beijing on September 15, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

With the cooperation of French police and the Chinese embassy in Paris, the "Fox Hunt" campaign team has escorted the suspect surnamed Chen from France. Chen is wanted for economic crimes by police in east China's Zhejiang Province.

According to police in Zhejiang's Rui'an City, Chen took public funds worth more than 20 million yuan (3 million U.S. dollars) without authorization from financial regulators between February 2009 and May 2012.

He fled to France in March 2013, and in September 2014, the municipal people's procuratorate of Rui'an approved his arrest on charges of illegal acquisition of public deposits. In November 2014, Interpol issued a red notice on Chen.

China requested the extradition of Chen via diplomatic channels based on the Sino-French treaty after the French police apprehended him on Oct. 28, 2015.

On Sept. 14, French police transferred him to China's "Fox Hunt" team in Paris and he was taken to Beijing on Sept. 15.

The case is significant in that it is another example of successfully extraditing suspects from European nations following Italy and Spain.

Chinese police have found 409 fugitives hiding overseas as part of the "Fox Hunt 2016" campaign, including 15 listed in an Interpol red notice.

The campaign has seen the arrest of 272 fugitives and 137 others have been persuaded to return from 61 countries and regions.

More than 30 groups have been sent overseas to capture fugitives in Madagascar, Thailand, Peru, the Philippines, Ecuador, the Republic of Korea, Cambodia and Spain, among others.

Of the 409 fugitives, 38 are implicated in duty-related crimes, and 14 in smuggling. Thirty-three of them were at large for more than five years, including 12 for over 10 years, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

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