US to extradite China most wanted economic fugitive

Yang Xiuzhu will be extradited from the US to China. He has been accused of embezzling more than $40 million.

US to extradite China most wanted economic fugitive

World Bulletin / News Desk

 A former Chinese official wanted for allegedly embezzling more than $40 million is set to be extradited from the United States, according to Chinese media Friday.

Yang Xiuzhu – China’s most wanted fugitive who media referred to as the "Corrupt Queen" – previously served as a deputy mayor of Wenzhou, eastern Zhejiang province, and oversaw building projects during its boom in the 1990s.

According to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) of the Communist Party of China, Yang fled China in 2003 and was placed under custody in the U.S. last year after using a fake Dutch passport.

Lou Martinez, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency spokesman in New York, told Thursday that Yang was being held awaiting her repatriation to China.

“As a foreign law enforcement fugitive, Yang is an ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] priority,” Martinez said.

He added that Yang had violated a U.S. visa-waiver program that permits certain countries’ nationals to remain within its territory for up to three months.

The China Daily reported that her whereabouts were confirmed for the first time in a decade in May 2014, when the CCDI's International Cooperation Department said she had escaped custody in the Netherlands following the denial of her political asylum request.

Yang had fled to the U.S. after her brother was placed under investigation for graft in 2003, before being captured in the Netherlands in 2005 following an Interpol Red Corner Notice against her.

She had allegedly acquired enough assets to purchase a $5 million five-story building in midtown Manhattan in 1996.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement database says Yang is being held at the Hudson County correctional facility in New Jersey.

Last month, China’s Interpol bureau released the names of 100 nationals wanted worldwide under the government’s Sky Net campaign, as the country is pushing to discuss an extradition treaty with the U.S.

The Asian nation does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S. or the Netherlands.

The second most wanted economic fugitive on the Interpol list, Li Huabo, was repatriated from Singapore on May 9 after fleeing overseas more than five years ago.

The former financial official in eastern Jiangxi province is accused of embezzling more than $15 million.

Since its launch in 2013, President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has investigated tens of thousands of suspects, including dozens of high-profile individuals at the top of the Communist Party.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 Mayıs 2015, 09:37