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Trio of Escapees See Their Bounty Tripled
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China's Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday tripled the reward for information leading to the capture of three former managers wanted for fraud.

Class-A warrants have been issued for Zhang Shirong, Song Zengtao and Li Juncheng and the reward for information leading to their arrests has risen from 150,000 yuan to 450,000 yuan (US$56,250).

The trio is suspected of falsifying receipts to fraudulently claim a total of 323 million yuan in their positions as managers or directors of three leather companies in north China's Hebei Province during 2004 and 2005.

They are believed of issuing falsified special receipts for agricultural produce purchases through purchases of other materials or non-existing items.

The issuers of special receipts for purchasing agricultural produce enjoy preferential tax policies.

The ministry issued a class-A warrant for their arrests on Nov. 27, offering the public a reward of 50,000 yuan (US$6,250) for information or the arrest of each man.

The misuse and forgery of receipts is a growing problem in China. The National Bureau of Statistics in April revealed nine cases of tax evasion by falsifying receipts, involving 1.45 billion yuan (US$181 million). At least 22 people were convicted as a result.

Other cases involved falsifying import documents concerning the recycling business and the purchase and transportation of agricultural products, said an official with the bureau.

(Xinhua News Agency December 20, 2006)

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