US to crackdown on Chinese officials fleeing to America

Estimated more than 1,000 corrupt Chinese officials had taken refuge in the US.

Last Updated: Sep 08, 2010, 15:32 PM IST

Beijing: Efforts by China to stop its corrupt officials from fleeing to the US made headway as American officials promised to intensify crackdown on them and track down the assets illegally transferred abroad by those involved in graft.

"US has a very good record in denying safe haven to corrupt officials and their families, and we try to go after their assets as well," David Luna, Director for anti-crime programs at Bureau of International Narcotics under US State Department, said.

"We try to encourage the Chinese government to provide information that is necessary for use in our courts," he told state run China Daily in Washington ahead of the talks with Chinese counterparts.

The US media has estimated that more than 1,000 corrupt Chinese officials termed as "naked officials" had taken refuge in the US, mostly in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco recently.

The move to rope in US comes after China imposed stricter measures to prevent transfer of assets by corrupt officials.

Besides this China recently passed a new regulation warranting all its officials at higher level to furnish data about the assets of their wife and children when they apply for passports.

Song Hansong, deputy director of China’s Supreme People`s Procuratorate anti-dereliction and infringement department, said corrupt officials who fled abroad should be brought to justice otherwise it would undermine the judicial authorities.

"China will work together... with the international community to ensure an effective crackdown on corruption," he said.

One of the major cases that showed the positive results of cooperation occurred in 2008 when a US federal jury in Las Vegas convicted Xu Chaofan and Xu Guojun, accused of defrauding the Bank of China of USD 485 million over a period of 10 years. Their wives were also found guilty. The two men were sentenced to over 20 years in jail in 2009.

PTI