China to confiscate illegal assets of fleeing officials

Zhou Qiang, president of China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) Photo: China Daily

China will draft a judicial interpretation for confiscating illicit assets of corrupt officials fleeing overseas, according to Chief Justice Zhou Qiang, who delivered a report on Thursday at a plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC).

“There will be no safe haven for corrupt officials who fled overseas,” Zhou said, “We will spare no efforts to chase those criminals, and confiscate the illegally accumulated assets.”

In fact, legal procedures in terms of confiscating illicit assets of fleeing or dead corrupt officials were stipulated in the second amendment to the criminal law which came into effect on January 1, 2013.

The case of Li Huabo, a former official of Poyang County of China’s Jiangxi Province, who fled to Singapore after embezzling public funds, was put on trial last year in his absence, which has been seen as the first case of confiscating illicit assets of corrupt officials fleeing abroad.

Zhou also said international judicial cooperation has been established and 749 corruption suspects were captured both from inside and outside the country in 2014, among which 49 were repatriated or persuaded to turn themselves in from 17 foreign countries including the US and Canada.

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