Police in Guangdong province detained 62 economic fugitives in the first seven months of the year, recovering assets valued at more than 60 million yuan ($9.23 million), a senior police officer said on Friday.
Seventeen of the fugitives detained between January and July were suspected of involvement in cases valued at more than 10 million yuan each, Huang Peifu, political commissar of the Economic Criminal Investigation Bureau with Guangdong's Provincial Department of Public Security, told a news conference in Guangzhou, the provincial capital.
"The number of economic fugitives detained by Guangdong police is the highest in the Chinese mainland in the first seven months of the year," Huang said.
Guangdong police have detained more than 550 economic fugitives since a special campaign, code named liehu, or fox hunt, was launched in 2014, Huang said.
"That indicates police in Guangdong still have a long way to go in pursuing and capturing fugitives who have fled abroad in the months to come," he added.
Huang did not reveal how many fugitives have fled overseas from Guangdong, one of the country's economic powerhouses.
The fugitives are mainly facing accusations of fraud, illegal fundraising, accepting bribes and misusing public funds, and most are suspected to be hiding in Hong Kong, Macao, Southeast Asia, the United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand, he said.
Huang promised to further expand cooperation with overseas law enforcement agencies and related departments to hunt down more fugitives this year, while hinting that additional campaigns and operations will be launched to help pursue and capture fugitives in the near future.
"Police across the province have vowed to do what they can to help bring the economic fugitives to justice, no matter where they have escaped to," Huang said.
He urged residents to give police tips about the whereabouts of fugitives and family members of fugitives to try to persuade them to return home and surrender to police and law enforcement departments.
Last month, four economic fugitives were detained in Vietnam and repatriated back to Guangdong.
And in May, a couple from Foshan who had fled to Malaysia for five years were detained and repatriated. Surnamed Liang and Huang, they were suspected of defrauding business partners of more than 7 million yuan before fleeing to Malaysia.