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China Struggles to Stem Exodus of Corrupt Officials

From the China Compliance Digest (Issue No. 21: June 25, 2012):

China Economic Weekly reported that in the last 12 years, 18,400 Chinese officials were caught trying to leave the country in order to escape prosecution on corruption charges.
The publication listed yearly totals of seized assets from these arrests for just five of the 12 years. The combined amount recovered for all five years was a whopping 54.19 billion yuan (US $8.5 billion).
The case involving the most corrupt gains was that of Yu Zhendong, former chief of Bank of China’s Guangdong branch, and two bank managers. Yu’s group embezzled hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars, which they laundered through several United States banks and casinos after entering the U.S. with fraudulently obtained documents.
In 2004, the FBI discovered the scheme and sent Yu back to China.
According to a recent study published in Hong Kong magazine Dongxiang (Trend), 91 percent of the active members of the CPC’s Central Committee have at least one family member living overseas.
The study was said to originate from an internal investigation conducted by China’s central government.
The majority of the leaders’ overseas relatives live in the U.S. or Canada, top destinations for so-called “naked officials,” i.e. corrupt Chinese officials who send assets and relatives overseas as a prelude to their own flight.
Scholars believe up to 20,000 naked officials have successfully emigrated, taking with them total assets that may well exceed one trillion yuan (US $15 billion).

Sources: Dongxiang Magazine (動向雜誌), China Economic Weekly (中国经济周刊)


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