Taking China’s anti-graft campaign one step further, Chinese police discretely traveled last year to the eastern suburbs of Melbourne to get a Chinese-born tour bus driver to return and face bribery charges back home.
The move by police marks the first confirmed account of Chinese officers traveling to a Western country on behalf of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s “Operation Fox Hunt” campaign, which aims at repatriating corrupt officials and seizing their hidden assets overseas.
A Rizhao police officer with direct knowledge of the investigation said his colleagues took unofficial measures to repatriate the suspect, raising questions as to whether Australian authorities were notified of the police operation.
“We first contacted [Dong] from China, but he didn’t quite believe what we were saying over the phone, he said it would be best if we spoke face to face,” the officer was quoted by The Age as saying.
Xi’s fox-hunting efforts have led to the extradition of 290 alleged fugitives from 69 countries, The Age said, quoting official figures, adding that those efforts have been frustrated by cautious Western governments.