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Yang Xiuzhu Beijing’s most-wanted fugitive voluntarily returns to China

Yang was number one on a list of China’s 100 most-wanted fugitives abroad, issued in April.

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Yang Xiuzhu play

Yang Xiuzhu

(China.org)

China’s most-wanted fugitive, Yang Xiuzhu, voluntarily returned from the U.S. on Wednesday, Beijing’s main anti-corruption agency said.

Yang, a former Deputy Director of the Construction Bureau of East China’s Zhejiang province, was number one on a list of China’s 100 most-wanted fugitives abroad, issued in April.

“She fled the country in April 2003 after anti-corruption inspectors began an investigation into her alleged involvement in embezzlement,’’ Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said.

It said that the U.S. law enforcement agencies had cooperated with the investigation, and have frozen the 70-year-old’s assets in America.

“The case of Yang Xiuzhu is an important achievement of Sino-US anti-corruption law enforcement cooperation,’’ it said.

Her return comes amid an ongoing operation by the Chinese government to capture suspects who have fled the country.

She is the 37th suspect on the wanted list to return to China, according to the CCDI.

The most popular destinations for former Chinese officials are the U.S., Canada and Australia, none of which have extradition treaties with Beijing.

In some cases China sends agents abroad to contact fugitives and try to persuade them to return.

The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimates that 16,000 to 18,000 dollars former officials fled with a total of 140 billion dollars from the mid-1990s to 2008.

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