Crime & Justice

Ex-Chinese banker deported from US in alleged embezzlement after 2 decades

Beijing, Nov 15 (EFE).- A former Chinese banker wanted in an alleged embezzlement case has been deported from the United States after two decades on the run, local media reported Monday.

Xu Guojun, who headed the local branch of Bank of China in the southern city of Kaiping, was repatriated to China on Sunday.

The Chinese authorities accuse Xu of embezzling millions of dollars from public funds even as the judiciary has not processed the case yet.

Xu fled to the US in October 2001.

A Las Vegas court sentenced him first to seven years and later to 22 years in prison for defrauding the Bank of China at least $485 million.

The Central Commission for Inspection and Discipline (CCID), the anti-corruption arm of the Communist Party of China, alleges that his predecessor Xu Chaofan and successor Yu Zhendong at the branch collaborating in the embezzlement.

They also fled the country and were sentenced in the US. Yu was repatriated to China in 2004 and Xu Chaofan in 2018.

According to the Global Times, part of the looted money ended up at the gaming tables in Las Vegas, where ex-bankers could make bets of up to $80,000 during their years of freedom in the US.

CCID said it had recovered more than 2 billion yuan ($312 million) of the embezzled money from home and abroad.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that it did not matter where the corrupt hide because they would not escape justice.

Zhao said the repatriation was the result of the joint efforts by China and the US.

Since coming to power in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has launched a widespread crackdown against corruption in China.

The campaign has led to the punishment of thousands of officials and bankers, but some critics believe that he might have used the drive to end the political careers of some of Xi’s rivals. EFE


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