France has agreed to help China with the Operation Fox Hunt campaign to track down corruption fugitives who have fled to the country, Reuters reported, citing a French Justice Ministry official.
China is expected to send French authorities the names of ten people suspected of “getting rich from corruption and seeking refuge in other countries, or investing this money in other countries,” Robert Gelli, director of criminal affairs of the French Justice Ministry, told Reuters.
Among the ten suspects, two or three are believed to be in France while the rest may be elsewhere in Europe.
An extradition treaty signed between China and France in 2007 hans’t been ratified by France’s parliament, with China’s death penalty for some economic crimes being a major concern blocking the ratification. But extradition is still possible if China meets French demands and agrees not to impose the death penalty in specific cases, Gelli said.
He also said last month that France would help China recover the illegal assets of corruption fugitives and share the seized funds with China, China Daily reported.
In return, France wants China’s help tracking illegal wire transfers from French companies to Chinese bank accounts. French officials said the transfers amount to $370 million. “France has made 70 requests for cooperation from China in its investigations since 2010 but has received very low response rates,” Gelli said told Reuters.
Since China launched Operation Fox Hunt in July, 428 economic fugitives have been arrested.
China’s Ministry of Public Security said it will create a database of corruption fugitives and publicize it in a bid to generate tipoffs.
Sources: Reuters, China Daily, The Paper (彭湃新闻), Xinhua News
Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.