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Corrupt Officials Pocket $50 Billion, Give China The Slip

PTI 12 Jan 2010, 10:01:48 AM IST

Thousands of Chinese officials have fled overseas with as much as $50 billion in their pockets in stolen government funds during the country's economic boom over the past three decades, China's top prosecutorial office said on Monday. 

Using the services of criminal gangs in other countries, former officials are often able to launder money, buy real estate and obtain fake IDs, according to an article posted on the website of the Supreme People's Procuratorate. The report from the top prosecutor's office said developed nations, including the US and Australia, have become “heaven for those in hiding”. 

A joint multi-agency government task force has been set up to stem the flood of corrupt officials stealing and escaping the country. “According to statistics, China now has 4,000 officials hiding overseas with $50 billion,” the report said. It was unclear how the numbers were calculated. 

They include the Public Security, Justice and Foreign Affairs ministries joining together “to prevent the fleeing of those who violate disciplines or laws”, said a notice posted on the ministry of supervision's website. It did not give details on how it would apprehend the officials or get them back to China to face the law. AP