China graft suspect gives himself up, returns from United States

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese corruption suspect who was on the country's list of 100 most wanted overseas fugitives has returned to China from the United States after giving himself up, the anti-graft watchdog said late on Saturday (July 28).

Zhang Yongguang, a former policeman in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, fled to the United States in 2010 and had been wanted on suspicion of taking bribes, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

Zhang "returned to the country of his own accord and returned the dirty funds," the commission said, without elaborating.

It was not immediately possible to reach Zhang, his family, or a legal representative for comment.

In April 2015, Chinese authorities published a list of 100"most-wanted" suspects it believes to be hiding overseas, many living in the United States, Canada and Australia.

Zhang is the 54th person on the list to have returned to China since the operation was launched, the commission said in a statement on its website.

"We will make persistent efforts in fighting against corruption and recovering stolen assets, leaving no room for corrupt fugitives to hide and no hope for those who want to flee," it cited an unidentified official as saying.

Many Western countries, however, have been reluctant to help with China's campaign, or to sign extradition treaties, unwilling to send people back to a country where rights groups say mistreatment of criminal suspects remains a problem.

They also complain China is often unwilling to provide proof of the crimes that would be acceptable to a Western court.