'Beautiful' executive who fled with $104m tracked down

SHANGHAI (AFP) - A Chinese insurance executive who allegedly took 500 million yuan (S$104 million) from her company and fled the country has been escorted back from Fiji by police, state media reported.

Chinese police tracked down the former general manager of the Shanghai Fanxin Insurance Agency, Chen Yi, with the help of Interpol, the official Xinhua news agency said.

China's insurance regulator said last week that Fanxin sold investment schemes without authorisation.

So-called wealth management products are loosely regulated in China and have found favour with investors looking for higher returns than bank deposits and securities.

Media reports said Ms Chen, who they dubbed the "beautiful woman manager", was rumoured to have fled with tens of millions of dollars, reportedly bound for Canada.

The China Insurance Regulatory Commission said it would cooperate with police and protect the interests of consumers, according to a statement.

The case was reported to Shanghai police last week, Xinhua said, quoting the Ministry of Public Security. It did not say when Ms Chen left China.

Authorities of the South Pacific island nation of Fiji also cooperated in her return on Monday, Xinhua said.

Fanxin, founded in 2007, is mainly engaged in life insurance intermediary business. The company claims to have sold more than 480 million yuan worth of insurance policies last year alone.