Movie producer among 50 fugitives hunted

Top News | Charlotte Luo 8 Jun 2018

The main producer of 2015's Hong Kong-made kung fu movie Ip Man 3 is among 50 fugitives wanted by a mainland anti-corruption agency.

Two others on the wanted list are said to have fled the mainland for Hong Kong.

Officers of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group who are involved in chasing fugitives and recovering assets said the 50 are linked to duty-related or economic crimes.

In making that claim they released names, photographs, identity document details and possible current whereabouts.

Shi Jianxiang, who has a Hong Kong identity card and is a former chairman of Kuailu Group, is suspected of committing fund-raising fraud, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

He is best known to Hongkongers for Ip Man 3, starring Donnie Yen Chi-tan.

The movie took in the equivalent of US$71.5 million (HK$556.2 million) in its first three days, but investigators said more than 7,600 screenings involved fabrications.

Shi went to the United States on March 7, 2016, investigators claimed.

Zheng Dongqiang, a one-time party official and deputy director of the Xiamen Municipal Public Security Bureau, is also wanted on suspicion of taking bribes. He fled to Hong Kong on January 12, 2016.

And Wang Junwen, a former general manager of Hainan Textiles, allegedly took bribes and headed to Hong Kong on September 24, 2003.

Among the 50 fugitives, 23 fled to the United States, 11 to Canada, six to New Zealand and four to Australia, while others headed to Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand and Britain, besides Hong Kong.

China lacks extradition treaties with most of those countries.

Allegations against the fugitives mostly involve bribery and embezzlement, while others include loan frauds, misappropriating public funds and contract fraud.

More than 20 of the 50 fugitives have been on the run overseas for more than 10 years.

The person said to have been on the run for the longest time is He Yejun, a former chairman of Tangshan Haomen Group.

Accused of misappropriating public funds, he fled to the United States in 1999.

The 50 are among 4,441 people listed by mainland authorities as fugitives at the end of April. They were said to be hiding in more than 90 countries and regions. Of these 825 are civil servants and 52 are on Interpol's red notice for international arrest.

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