Transnational crime and China

18 August 2011

The Dean, Professor Gillian Triggs discusses transnational criminal cases involving corrupt chinese officials, following the release of a report from China's Central Bank that estimates the cost of these crimes to be $120 billion since the mid-1990s.

In an interview with SBS Mandarin News Australia, Professor Triggs says the extradition of one of China's most infamous corrupt officials, Lai Changxing, from Canada signals a new approach to tackling these matters.

"I see this (the Lai Changxing extradition) as a window opening," she says.

"Both not only for Canada and China, but for countries like Australia, where we can work with China but we have to get the right processes that meet minimal criminal procedures and where persons extradited, as in this Canadian case, will not be executed.

"That is really a bottom line.

"This case represents a growing capacity to work with Chinese authorities and to respect their assurances.

"I think it's a very positive indication globally."

According to the report, Lai's alleged smuggling operation in the coastal city of Xiamen between 1996 and 1999 was valued at $10 billion and is China's biggest economic crime case since 1949.

"I think this is a very strong message from China," Professor Triggs asserts.

"As it develops its relationships with countries like Canada, the United States, Australia and Europe, it will be increasingly searching out these people who do some much damage to the Chinese economy and Chinese policy.

"The message is very strong: China will be searching for them and asking for cooperation towards the Government's concern to achieve repatriation."

View the report - The latest deportation of Lai Changxing triggers discussion about corrupt Chinese officials who flee overseas - SBS Mandarin News Australia

Contact: Greg Sherington

Phone: +61 2 9351 0202

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