Beijing seeks 300 fugitives in HK wanted for serious crimes

Local | 13 Mar 2019 12:21 pm

The mainland already has a list of more than 300 fugitives hiding in Hong Kong that it wants to be sent back over the border, a former deputy minister of public security said, RTHK reported.

Chen Zhimin, who held the senior government position between 2009 and 2017, told the public broadcaster today that the authorities "have the name of every single one" of these people, adding they are wanted for serious crimes.

Chen said that when he was in office, he had negotiated with SAR officials, including former security secretary Lai Tung-kwok, and the then undersecretary John Lee Ka-chiu, over a possible extradition agreement, and that it was a pity that no consensus was reached at the time.

He also brushed aside concerns that a proposed change in Hong Kong law, which would allow the SAR to surrender suspects on a case-by-case basis, will affect the SAR’s business environment, or allow political cases to be packaged as criminal offences.

Hong Kong’s business sector has called for some white-collar crimes to be excluded under the legal amendments. But Chen said all criminal offences should be subject to legal sanctions.

Chen, who is a member of the central government’s top advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the mainland has been helping Hong Kong by arresting and returning crime suspects that flee across the border, and it is time for the SAR to start returning the favour.

He also said there were "unnecessary worries and speculation” in Hong Kong that Beijing would seek the extradition of people wanted for political reasons using criminal offences as a pretext. He said the mainland would handle every case in accordance with the law. Photo: RTHK.

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