Son of former Hanbo Group chief extradited after 21 years as a fugitive.

SEOUL, June 22 (Yonhap) -- A son of Chung Tae-soo, former head of the now-defunct Hanbo Group, was extradited to South Korea on Saturday, following his discovery in Panama 21 years after he fled a corruption probe, prosecutors said.

Chung Han-keun, a son of Chung Tae-soo, former head of the now-defunct Hanbo Group, arrives at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on June 22, 2019. (Yonhap)

Chung Han-keun, a son of Chung Tae-soo, former head of the now-defunct Hanbo Group, arrives at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on June 22, 2019. (Yonhap)

Chung Han-keun, 54, was recently captured in Panama. In 1998, he fled the probe into allegations that he embezzled 32.2 billion won (US$27.6 million) from a subsidiary of Hanbo Group and stashed it in a secret Switzerland-based bank account.

Upon arrival at Incheon International Airport, Chung rejected reporters' questions.

After questioning him on where he lived as a fugitive, prosecutors plan to hold a press conference Sunday on the outcome of the interrogation.

The prosecution launched an operation to uncover his whereabouts in August last year after one of his associates said in a media interview in 2017 that Chung appeared to be staying in the United States.

Later, prosecutors were informed by the authorities in Ecuador that Chung had departed for Panama on Tuesday. Investigators then found him with the help of Panama's immigration authorities.

The prosecution executed his arrest warrant upon his boarding a South Korean-flagged plane, bound for Incheon, in Dubai.

Guyana's first ever extradition brings killer, 33, back to New York eight years after he skipped the U.S.

A murder suspect who fled to Guyana after a 2011 Queens killing was brought back to the city Thursday to finally face charges

  • Troy Thomas, 33, was charged with murder by NYPD detectives 

  • It's the first extradition case ever between the U.S. and Guyana

  • Thomas is accused of killing Keith Frank at a house party on December 11, 2011

  • He was identified as a suspect early in the investigation but he had already fled to Guyana, which doesn't have an extradition treaty with the U.S. 

The tiny country, is the size of Oregon and borders Venezuela and Brazil, has a population of less than 800,000. It's the first time anyone has been extradited to the U.S. from there

The tiny country, is the size of Oregon and borders Venezuela and Brazil, has a population of less than 800,000. It's the first time anyone has been extradited to the U.S. from there

Guyana has extradited a criminal for the very first time ever and the suspect is now back in the U.S. and awaiting trial for a shooting. 

Troy Thomas, 33, fled to the South American country eight years ago to escape a murder charge but is now behind bars in Queens after being extradited to New York City. 

Thomas is accused of shooting to death Keith Frank in 2011 outside a house party in South Ozone Park, police said. He later died at a hospital in Queens.

Guyana police received a request from U.S. authorities to arrest Thomas but he didn't exhaust his extradition appeals until this week, according to embassy officials.

Guyana Police Force officers apprehended Thomas in 2018, and he has remained in Lusignan prison since then. 

His transfer to the US marks the first time anyone has been removed from the country and sent back to the U.S., setting a new precedent for Guyana, which has not previously extradited to the USA according to the New York Post.

Troy Thomas, 33, had been on the run since 2011 but he has finally been brought back to the U.S. to face justice for the killing 

Troy Thomas, 33, had been on the run since 2011 but he has finally been brought back to the U.S. to face justice for the killing 

The defendant has been on the run for eight years, but today he is in our custody and will answer for the senseless killing of a 20-year-old man in South Richmond Hill, Queens, just before Christmas in 2011,' said Chief Assistant District Attorney John M. Ryan. 

'The family of the victim deserves justice for their deceased loved one. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for his alleged actions.'

It took a full year of negotiations between Guyanese  government and the U.S., Embassy before the transfer could finally take place. 

'Corruption and criminal activity rob the Government and citizens of Guyana of money that could have been spent on education, health care, and important infrastructure work. Extraditions are an important law enforcement tool in fighting transnational criminal organizations. Today, a fugitive from justice is being extradited to the United States to stand trial, creating a new precedent,' Ambassador Sarah Lynch said in a statement. 

'The Government of Guyana's actions over the past year clearly indicate its dedication to law and order and established norms of international criminal justice – Guyana is moving in the right direction. Establishing a roadmap for future extraditions, bringing a fugitive to justice, making Guyana a safer place for Guyanese citizens – this is the best example of rule of law existing in Guyana.'

Thomas, who is a native of Guyana and covered in tattoos, was hauled in front of a judge on Thursday afternoon but said nothing.  

The tiny country, which is about the size of Oregon and borders Venezuela and Brazil, has a population of less than 800,000.

'We already gave him refugee status': how murder suspect delayed extradition to US

New York: A global fugitive wanted in relation to a murder in New York was granted refugee status in Australia and was able to delay his extradition for five years with the help of the Australian government.

Abakar Gadiyev, who fled to Australia in 2009, was finally extradited to New York last week.CREDIT:

Abakar Gadiyev, who fled to Australia in 2009, was finally extradited to New York last week.CREDIT:

Abakar Gadiyev, 37, was finally extradited from Sydney to New York last week, almost 10 years after a Brooklyn supermarket owner was bashed to death in a car park and robbed of $US32,000 ($44,000).

Brooklyn South homicide squad detective Peter McMahon sent a letter to the Australian government in 2014 warning that Gadiyev was not a genuine refugee but the government responded that it was too late to reverse his refugee status, he said.

"Basically, they said, 'unfortunately we already gave him refugee status and that can’t be undone'," he said.

He lived in Bondi Beach and Drummoyne, working with computers and falling in with some Eastern European criminal circles that were on the police radar, it's understood.

However, he was able to convince the government that he was a persecuted asylum seeker from his central Asian home country.

McMahon tracked Gadiyev to Sydney after contacts in other agencies told him Gadiyev had passed through an airport in Malaysia. His name popped up in NSW Police databases as he had been stopped for minor matters.

NSW Detective Inspector David El-Badawi tailed Gadiyev extensively and followed him to a coffee shop in 2013 where the fugitive left a can of Red Bull on the table.

El-Badawi pinched the can; the DNA matched DNA from a ski mask and a sweater that attackers in Brooklyn were seen on CCTV wearing and discarding after the crime.

Gadiyev was arrested at Sydney Airport in 2014. At the time, McMahon said, he was in the process of applying for citizenship and legally changing his name.

A local court ordered him to be extradited but, due to his refugee status, it's understood the federal government had to secure guarantees that Gadiyev would be sent back to Australia, not Turkmenistan, once he had served his time or was found not guilty.

Gadiyev also used several avenues to appeal extradition. The delays left Tolstykh's widow, Rita, and her local senator, Chuck Schumer, furious and desperate.

“All I ask is to get peace for my kids and my mother-in-law, who lost her only son. I only want peace and justice,” she said at a 2016 press conference with Schumer.

McMahon, who travelled to Sydney last week to escort Gadiyev back, said he and Rita Tolstykh "were both giving up hope" that Australia would extradite him.

"It [was] very frustrating... until the [plane] door slammed closed, I wasn't sure he was coming back with us... I had my phone in my hand and as soon as the doors closed, I hit the send button [on a message to Rita]. She was obviously thrilled."

The Department of Home Affairs said it "does not comment on individual cases".

Vancouver man charged in Silk Road drug conspiracy

A Vancouver man has just been charged with conspiracy to sell drugs on the dark web site called the Silk Road. Interestingly, James Ellingson, 42, communicated with Silk Road owner Ross Ulbricbht using the handle “redandwhite” which is usually a reference to the Hells Angels.

Ross Ulbricht's (Founder of Silk Road) lap top on Exhibit In Newseum in D.C. 

Ross Ulbricht's (Founder of Silk Road) lap top on Exhibit In Newseum in D.C. 

A Vancouver man is wanted in the U.S for allegedly selling methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and other drugs through the notorious dark-web exchange known as the Silk Road.

James Ellingson, 42, was arrested Oct. 29 in Vancouver on charges of conspiracy to violate U.S. narcotics laws, conspiracy to import narcotics and conspiracy to money-launder between 2011 and 2013. Evidence gathered against Ellingson stemmed from the U.S. investigation into Silk Road founder Ross William Ulbricht, according to a recent B.C. Supreme Court bail ruling in the case.

Justice Joyce DeWitt-Van Oosten released Ellingson on bail earlier this month despite a U.S. request that he be held in custody. Ellingson, who has a criminal record on this side of the border, allegedly made $2 million using the dark web to sell his wares.

Ulbricht was arrested in October 2013, convicted in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison. After his arrest, the FBI seized various servers associated with Silk Road in Iceland, as well as backup servers in the U.S. The servers contained databases with Silk Road records showing various transactions, as well as private messages exchanged between Silk Road users, according to a U.S. affidavit quoted by DeWitt-Van Oosten in her Nov. 2 ruling.

The U.S. alleges Ellingson was using the online handle “Marijuanaismymuse” and was paid for his drug sales by Ulbricht using Bitcoin. Transactions for the Marijuanaismymuse account occurred between November 2011 and October 2013 and involved sales of meth, heroin, cocaine, LSD, MDMA and pot.

“U.S. authorities have gathered evidence that they say links James Ellingson to Marijuanaismymuse,” the B.C. judge said. “Some of the drug proceeds sent to Marijuanaismymuse were subsequently traced to two Bitcoin exchange accounts registered to Mr. Ellingson.” One of the accounts was opened in August 2013 under Ellingson’s name, using his email and provided his driver’s licence number and a utility bill. The other account was opened in May 2013, also using his name, identification and a Vancouver address.

“U.S. authorities obtained records from Google relating to Mr. Ellingson’s Gmail account. These records contained an email dated Sept. 23, 2013, with a username of Marijuanaismymuse and what appears to be a password to the Marijuanaismymuse Silk Road account,” the ruling said. “The Gmail records also contained notations of drug weights, names and prices consistent with server data from the Silk Road.”

The U.S. alleges Ellingson communicated with Ulbricht and received his Bitcoin payments under the username Redandwhite. A laptop recovered from Ulbricht contained a file labelled “save red” that contained photos referenced in his communications with Redandwhite. The photos showed “packaged drugs and Canadian currency.” And some showed a man in front of a building that the U.S. alleged looks like the picture on Ellingson’s driver’s licence.

DeWitt-Van Oosten said the U.S. is still putting together its package of evidence to support its extradition request for Ellingson. She said she had “relatively limited information about the nature of the offences with which Mr. Ellingson is charged and/or the evidence gathered in support.”

DeWitt-Van Oosten noted that Ellingson had “a criminal record that includes three convictions for possessing drugs for the purpose of trafficking, and one conviction for trafficking.” And he has been convicted of criminal harassment, possession of a prohibited or restricted weapon, assault and other crimes.

But she accepted his lawyer’s submission that the crimes were committed a long time ago, while he was suffering from addiction. She said Ellingson could be released on strict conditions because he had a supportive family willing to offer a $75,000 surety and a job.

“I appreciate that Mr. Ellingson has been charged with serious offences and, if extradited and convicted, he faces a lengthy period of imprisonment. I also appreciate that he has a criminal record for drug-trafficking,” DeWitt-Van Oosten said. “However, in consideration of the circumstances, as a whole, I am satisfied he has shown his detention in custody pending the extradition process is not justified.”

Leader of International Cyber Fraud Ring Returned to United States to Face Federal Racketeering Charges

A Romanian national was returned to the United States Friday to face federal charges that accuse him of being the leader of an international cyber fraud ring that used malware to steal in excess of four million dollars after taking people’s passwords, personal identifying information, and bank account information.

Romeo Chita (Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department)

Romeo Chita (Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department)

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman of the Northern District of Ohio, Peter Elliot of the U.S. Marshals Service, Stephen D. Anthony of the FBI and Chief Kevin Bielozer of the Westlake Police Department made the announcement.

Romeo Vasile Chita, 38, was charged in a four-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio. The charges include racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit services.

Eight other defendants were named in the indictment unsealed today.  Two defendants—Daniel Mihai Radu, 39; and Manuel Tudor, 37, —have already been extradited from Romania and are awaiting trial in Cleveland. The other five defendants remain at large.

“Romeo Vasile Chita allegedly led a multinational criminal enterprise that stole sensitive personal data through deceptive phishing emails and organized fraudulent online auctions, causing millions of dollars in losses to innocent victims,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski.  “The Criminal Division will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, both domestic and international, to aggressively disrupt and dismantle international cyber criminal organizations that victimize our citizens and businesses.”

“This defendant led an international operation that used fraudulent emails and the internet to scam hard-working people out of their savings,” said U.S. Attorney Herdman.  “It is gratifying that this defendant will be forced to answer the charges filed against him.”

According to the indictment, Chita was based in Romania and led a racketeering enterprise that operated in the United States, Romania, Canada, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, Bosnia, China, Jordan, Malaysia and elsewhere. The goal of the enterprise was to generate money through various criminal acts, including wire fraud, trafficking in counterfeit services, and money laundering.  It began operating as early as 2007.

Among other things, Chita’s group sent “phishing” emails purporting to be from the Better Business Bureau, the IRS, U.S. Tax Court, the National Payroll Records Center, and others. When a victim clicked on a link in a fraudulent email, specialized malware incorporating a “keylogger” was installed onto the victims’ computers, allowing members of the criminal enterprise to capture sensitive and confidential information, including the victims’ bank account information.

The conspirators, including Chita, then transmitted the sensitive information to each other and others for the purpose of fraudulently withdrawing funds from the victims’ bank accounts. The stolen funds were then transferred to specific accounts in the United States, where the money was withdrawn and transferred to other members of the conspiracy. The conspirators used their own network of accounts and “money mules” to transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time to conceal the origin of the money.

The defendants also are alleged to have engaged in an extensive campaign of online auction fraud, placing ads for non-existent cars and other expensive items on eBay, Craigslist,, and other websites.  According to the indictment, victims were tricked into wiring thousands of dollars to money mules to purchase these vehicles.  The money mules then transferred and laundered the proceeds for the benefit of the enterprise.    

Chita managed and facilitated the various schemes, as well as directing other conspirators to launder fraudulently obtained money.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI, the Westlake Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel Brian L. Levine of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Duncan Brown of the Northern District of Ohio.  Valuable assistance is being provided by the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.  The Justice Department thanks the government of Romania for its assistance in this matter.

The prosecution of Chita is timely, as it occurs during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).  NCSAM – observed every October – was created as a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure all Americans have the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online.  The Department of Justice encourages citizens to take advantage of cybersecurity tips and information provided by law enforcement to ensure their personal information is secured.

U.S. says China spy charged with trying to steal aviation secrets

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday it had arrested and indicted a spy for China’s Ministry of State Security on charges of economic espionage and attempting to steal trade secrets from several U.S. aviation and aerospace companies.

Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui

Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui

Chinese operative Xu Yanjun was detained in Belgium in April after a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe and extradited to the United States on Tuesday. The Washington Post reported he was lured to Belgium by U.S. agents.

The FBI called it an unprecedented extradition and said the indictment showed the direct oversight of China’s government in economic espionage against the United States.The charges come as Washington increases pressure on Beijing over its trade policies and alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property.

Cyber-security experts said the arrest was another sign of the escalating trade tensions between the two countries, adding they had seen increasing espionage by Beijing for business advantage. “China is actively engaging in targeted and persistent intrusion attempts against multiple sectors of the economy, including biotech, defense, mining, pharmaceutical, professional services, transportation and more,” said CrowdStrike Chief Technology Officer Dmitri Alperovitch.

A U.S. Department of Justice statement said Xu, a deputy division director for the State Security Department of China’s Jiangsu province, targeted several U.S. aerospace companies, including GE Aviation, a subsidiary of General Electric Co (GE.N).

It described another unnamed firm as “one of the world’s largest aerospace firms, and a leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems,” and a third as a leader in unmanned aerial vehicle technology.

GE Aviation has supplied engines for large Boeing Co (BA.N) and Airbus SE (AIR.PA) aircraft, and is working on a new generation of engines for commercial planes and heavy-lift military helicopters.

The indictment against Xu said he targeted aviation firms since around December 2013. It also said he made contact with experts working for the firms and recruited them to travel to China, often for the initial purpose of delivering a university presentation and paying their costs and a stipend.

“This unprecedented extradition of a Chinese intelligence officer exposes the Chinese government’s direct oversight of economic espionage against the United States,” the statement quoted Bill Priestap, the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence, as saying.

John Demers, the assistant U.S. attorney general for national security, said the case was not an isolated incident.

“It is part of an overall economic policy of developing China at American expense,” he said. “We cannot tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower.”

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang called the accusations a “pure fabrication”.

“We hope the American side can justly, and in accordance with the law, safeguard the legal rights of the Chinese national,” Lu told a regular news briefing on Thursday.

Xu’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy and attempt to commit economic espionage is 15 years, while that for conspiracy and attempt to steal trade secrets is 10 years.

The Ministry of State Security is China’s intelligence and security agency and is responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence and political security.

Cyber-security experts said former U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping had reached an understanding in 2015 on cyber espionage, but the agreement appeared be withering away.

Chris Painter, the former U.S. State Department official who negotiated the agreement, said in a Twitter post it was “not surprising that now the relationship has deteriorated, so has the agreement.”

Late last month, the Department of Justice reported the arrest of a Chinese citizen in Chicago on charges he covertly worked for a high-ranking Chinese intelligence official to help try to recruit engineers and scientists, including some who worked as U.S. defense contractors.

NBC News on Tuesday quoted U.S. officials as saying a professor at a top cancer research center in Houston facing child pornography charges was also under scrutiny for alleged economic espionage for China.

In a first, a Chinese spy is extradited to the U.S. after stealing technology secrets, Justice Dept. says

In a first, federal agents lured a Chinese government spy to Belgium, where authorities transferred him this week to the United States for prosecution on economic espionage charges, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui

Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS) operative, Yanjun Xu, aka Qu Hui, aka Zhang Hui

Yanjun Xu, a senior officer with China’s Ministry of State Security (MSS), is accused of seeking to steal trade secrets from leading aviation firms, top Justice Department officials said. His capture helps vindicate law enforcement officials who have faced criticism in recent years that indictments of foreign operatives are unlikely to result in the defendants setting foot in a courtroom.

Current and former officials said Xu’s extradition is apparently the first time a Chinese government spy has been brought to the United States to face charges.

The announcement comes as the Trump administration has significantly escalated its rhetoric against China amid a trade war and general worsening of relations between the world powers. Last week Vice President Pence accused Chinese security agencies of masterminding the “wholesale theft of American technology.”

Justice Department officials said the indictment is the latest example of China seeking to develop its economy at the expense of American firms and know-how. Though China has often used computer hacking to filch secrets, this case relied on traditional espionage techniques, including the attempted recruitment of corporate insiders.

“No one begrudges a nation that generates the most innovative ideas and from them develops the best technology,” Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said. “But we cannot tolerate a nation stealing our firepower and the fruits of our brainpower. We will not tolerate a nation that reaps what it does not sow.”

Xu, also known as Qu Hui and Zhang Hui, was charged with conspiring and attempting to commit economic espionage and steal trade secrets from multiple U.S. aviation and aerospace companies. The indictment and complaint were unsealed Wednesday — the same day Xu appeared in federal court in Cincinnati.

“This case shows that federal law enforcement agencies cannot only detect and disrupt espionage, but can also catch its perpetrators,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin C. Glassman.

The MSS is a civilian spy agency responsible for counterintelligence, foreign intelligence and domestic political security. It was implicated in the hack of a U.S. Navy contractor developing undersea warfare capabilities, including secret plans to build a supersonic anti-ship missile for use on U.S. submarines by 2020.

Xu is a deputy division director with the Jiangsu Province Ministry of State Security, a provincial arm of the MSS.

“If not the first, this is an exceptionally rare achievement — that you’re able to catch an espionage operative and have them extradited to the United States,” said John Carlin, a former assistant attorney general for national security. “It significantly raises the stakes for China and is a part of the deterrence program that some people thought would never be possible.”

Beginning in December 2013 and continuing until his April 1 arrest in Belgium, Xu targeted experts working for aeronautics companies inside and outside the United States, including Cincinnati-based GE Aviation, officials said. GE Aviation has spent decades developing its unique jet engines and fan blades.

Xu recruited experts to travel to China, often under the guise of asking them to deliver a university presentation and passing himself off as an official with the Jiangsu Science and Technology Promotion Association.

Xu often exchanged information with individuals at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, one of the top engineering schools in China, which has significant influence over the country’s aerospace industry, according to court documents.

GE Aviation cooperated with the FBI early on in the investigation, which dates back more than a year, officials said. A spokesman for GE said Xu targeted a former employee, characterizing the impact as minimal “thanks to early detection.”

According to the indictment, in March 2017 a deputy director at the university, described as an unindicted co-conspirator, began emailing with an engineer at GE Aviation and asked him to come to China for an “exchange.” In May and June of 2017, the engineer went to China, met Xu, who claimed to be from the science and technology association. The engineer put five corporate documents on his personal laptop, which he brought to the presentation, according to WCPO, an ABC News affiliate in Cincinnati, citing an FBI affidavit for a search warrant in the case.

In February, Xu began discussing with the engineer the possibility of meeting in Europe during one of the engineer’s business trips, the indictment said. Xu asked the engineer to create a directory of files on his work computer and send a copy to him. Impressed, Xu in March asked the engineer if it was possible to “dump” the material from his laptop to a thumb drive when the two met in Belgium, the indictment said.

Belgian authorities cooperated with the investigation, U.S. officials said.

Xu’s case is linked to the arrest last month of Ji Chaoqun, 27, a Chinese citizen living in Chicago, according to individuals familiar with the matter. Ji was accused of passing information on eight Americans to Chinese intelligence officers for possible recruitment.

Ji targeted individuals in science and tech industries, seven of whom worked for or recently retired from U.S. defense contractors. All were naturalized U.S. citizens born in Taiwan or China.

Ji arrived in the United States in 2013 to study electrical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and in 2016 enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve under a special program to recruit foreigners whose skills are seen as vital to the national interest.

Greece to extradite Russian hacker and BTC-e founder Alexander Vinnik to the United States

The Supreme Court of Greece has decided to uphold the decision on extradition of Russian Alexander Vinnik to the United States, where he will be judged for multi-million dollar fraud with crypto currency and money laundering.

Alexander Vinnik

Alexander Vinnik

Alexander Vinnik was detained in Greece at the request of the US special services on July 26, 2017. The Russian has been accused of laundering of at least $4 billion since 2011 through the BTC-e site created by him, as well as the hacking of the Japanese exchange Mt. Gox. In the case of extradition in the US, the hacker faces up to 55 years in prison and a fine of $15 million.

Russia requires Vinnik to be extradited to his homeland. Here he faces less severe punishment. In Russia, Vinnik was accused of fraud on an especially large scale (part 3 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code). According to the investigation, Vinnik concluded a contract with one of the commercial firms to supply of equipment and disappeared after receiving 600 thousand rubles ($10.200) in advance.

The decision to extradite the Russian citizen to the US was taken by a court in Thessaloniki in October. Later, the council of judges of the Greek city also approved the request of the Russian Prosecutor General's Office for the extradition of Alexander Vinnik. In this regard, the case was referred to the Supreme Court to bring a final verdict.

China, US court rulings show judicial trust: experts

Politics posing a challenge to judicial cooperation: expert


The "unprecedented" move of China and the US to acknowledge and accept each other's court decisions reflects a great deal of judicial trust, Chinese experts said.

The US District Court for the Central District of California on Friday accepted the Suzhou Intermediate People's Court's decision on the case of Qiu Qinrong and Zhang Hongying for defaulting on loans, after which Qiu filed a lawsuit before the US court when he discovered that the couple and their son, who lives in California, allegedly transferred money illegally. 

"The evidence the plaintiff submitted demonstrates the Chinese court granted a monetary recovery and that the judgment is final, conclusive, and enforceable. The plaintiff has also demonstrated that the Chinese court was an impartial tribunal that had subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction over Zhang and X (Zhang's wife)," reads the US court's decision.

In June, the Wuhan Intermediate People's Court in Central China's Hubei Province recognized and enforced a US court's decision on commercial cases, which marks the first time China acknowledged a US court's decision on commercial cases, China National Radio reported. 

These two cases reflect a positive trend in judicial trust between China and the US, and that Chinese legal attitudes toward US court rulings are changing, Liu Weidong, a research fellow at the China Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of American Studies told the Global Times.

China has always tried to improve relations and cooperation with the US. It used to be limited to economic and trade cooperation, but may cover the judicial system in the near future, Liu said, adding that since the two countries have increased exchanges, they need to reach a certain level of consensus on law enforcement. 

Established in 1998, the China-US Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation (JLG) is a major mechanism and platform for the two sides to coordinate and communicate on law enforcement cooperation.

The seven working groups under the JLG are for anti-cyber crimes, anti-corruption, criminal judicial assistance, IPR criminal enforcement, arresting criminals, deporting illegal immigrants and cracking down on illegal immigration, and a subgroup for drug control.

Sensitive issues

Aside from progress on civil cases, China and the US are also cooperating on criminal cases and in the search for criminals, Huang Feng, head of Beijing Normal University's Institute for International Criminal Law, told the Global Times.

The US is a major destination for corrupt Chinese officials and economic fugitives, but through the JLG, China has worked closely with the US to apprehend and have them extradited. Some on the Interpol "most wanted" list have been returned to China.

However, Liu said that extraditing fugitives from the US might be difficult in practice as China has no extradition treaty with the US. "The issue of fugitives may involve a lot of sensitive issues, such as international relations. And it's hard to put aside politics on matters involving international judicial cooperation," Liu said.

Chinese police repatriate 4th U.S. fugitive this year

(ECNS) -- Chinese police have repatriated an American fugitive to the U.S. at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the fourth such fugitive this year.

A Chinese police officer hands over a U.S. fugitive's personal belongs to the U.S. police. (File photo/China News Service)

A Chinese police officer hands over a U.S. fugitive's personal belongs to the U.S. police. (File photo/China News Service)

The fugitive was wanted by the U.S. police for suspected theft of vehicles. He entered China via Shanghai in 2009 and worked at an English training institution.

Receiving a U.S. repatriation call in August, Chinese police launched an investigation and detained the suspect on Sept. 15.

Representatives of Shanghai Police and the U.S. consulate general in Shanghai witnessed the hand-over procedure.

The repatriation was the latest result of Sino-U.S. cooperation in chasing fugitives.

During U.S. President Donald Trump's state visit to the country this month, China and the U.S. reached consensus on cooperation in law enforcement and cybersecurity, reiterating that the two sides would promote "the adoption of simplified means to repatriate suspects" to prevent "safe havens" for fugitives from both countries.

U.S. police also repatriated two fugitives to China this year.

More fugitives are persuaded to surrender from overseas as China strengthens international anti-graft cooperation

○ The recent return of Kong Guangsheng, one of Interpol's 100 most wanted Chinese fugitives, marks a big step forward in China's anti-corruption campaign.

○ There is now more cooperation between China and foreign countries in tracking down overseas Chinese lawbreakers.

Liu Changkai, one of China's most wanted fugitives, returns to the Chinese mainland to turn himself in to police.  Photo: VCG

Liu Changkai, one of China's most wanted fugitives, returns to the Chinese mainland to turn himself in to police. Photo: VCG

Kong Guangsheng, one of China's most wanted fugitives, returned to the Chinese mainland and turned himself in to the police last Thursday, according to the anti-corruption authority.

A former general manager of Shengli Oilfield Qingdao Petroleum Industrial Co. Ltd., Kong was suspected of embezzlement and fled to Hong Kong in 2012, according to a statement released by the Communist Party of China Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI).

Kong is the 48th to return from a Red Notice list of 100 fugitives wanted by China issued by the Interpol in April 2015. 

Over the past few years, Chinese authorities have been expanding their anti-corruption campaign overseas.

In July 2014, the Ministry of Public Security launched its "Fox Hunt" operation, a major part of the "Sky Net" campaign targeting fugitives abroad who are wanted for corruption or economic crimes. The operation has been jointly conducted by various departments, including the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the People's Bank of China.

In April of 2015, the Interpol National Central Bureau for China released red notices for the 100 most wanted Chinese fugitives abroad, including 40 thought to be hiding in the US, 26 in Canada and 10 in Australia.

As of this month, the Sky Net operation has tracked down over 3,000 fugitives from 90 countries, recovered more than 9 billion yuan ($1.36 billion) of booty and captured 48 out of 100 individuals on the red notice list. Of them all, the most infamous was Yang Xiuzhu, number one on the red notice. 

Yang was the former vice mayor of Wenzhou, an industrial city in East China's Zhejiang Province who escaped China with approximately 19 million yuan in embezzled funds along with 7 million yuan in bribes. The woman had sworn that she'd "die in America," but on November 16, 2016, she turned herself in. She was sentenced to eight years imprisonment last Friday. 

Her case is said to be a perfect demonstration of how much effort Chinese authorities have invested in the operation. 

Tang Renwu, dean of the School of Governance of Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times that the stricter measures are a good way to deter any future occurrences of graft or corruption. 

"Domestic corrupt officials who might have thought about escaping will not dare do it now, after seeing such tight measures and cooperation with a wide range of countries. They should know now that no matter where they escape to, there's no hiding place," he said.

Yang Xiuzhu, number one on the red notice list, is sentenced to eight years in jail.  Photo: VCG

Yang Xiuzhu, number one on the red notice list, is sentenced to eight years in jail. Photo: VCG

Persuasion works best

According to the CCDI website, there are four ways China cooperates with foreign countries to recover fugitives: extradition, repatriation, off-site prosecution and persuasion for them to voluntarily return. The last measure is a new method by Chinese authorities and it has proven highly effective. In fact, most of the recovered fugitives on the red notice came back with this method. 

"This is useful because China does not have extradition treaties with some Western countries. On the policy level there can be cooperation, but there can also be unofficial ways, such as persuasion," Tang said.

When, for example, a fugitive is having a hard time abroad due to being cut off from the world, if they are approached by their family they become vulnerable and more likely to have an epiphany about surrendering.

According to CCDI, Yang Lihu, the corporate representative of Anhui Tairui Medicine suspected of issuing fake VAT invoices, was the first Chinese fugitive successfully persuaded to come back from a Western country. 

With his ill-gotten gains, Yang expected to live the good life after fleeing to Canada, but he quickly found himself isolated. He could not speak any English, dared not visit a doctor for his ailments and was cut off from his family, according to CCDI.

Living in constant fear of being caught by the police and having learned about China's anti-corruption campaign abroad, in 2015 Yang finally turned himself in.

Overseas cooperation

Huang Feng, a professor at the Beijing Normal University, told Nanfang Daily that most of the G20 members are economically more developed and have better natural environment, which is attractive from the angle of immigration. Countries such as US, Canada and Australia have relatively relaxed immigration policies, which explains why 76 out of the 100 red notice members escaped to G20 member countries, namely US, Australia and Canada.  

In remarks by Huang Shuxian, China's former minister of supervision, at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London in May of 2016, China is a member of 15 global and regional anti-corruption cooperation mechanisms.

China championed the adoption of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Beijing Declaration on Fighting Corruption, the establishment of the APEC Network of Anti-Corruption Authorities and Law Enforcement Agencies and the G20 Denial of Entry Experts' Network, and pushed for the establishment of a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) mechanism for anti-corruption cooperation. 

China now has anti-corruption cooperation with 89 countries and regions, has concluded 44 extradition treaties and 57 treaties on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters and has signed financial information exchange agreements with 35 countries and regions.

China also maintains close communication and cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Anti-Corruption Academy, Interpol, the World Bank, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and other organizations.

Chinese authorities have recently started involving foreign communities in its anti-corruption operations. In April, they released information for the first time on 22 suspects who fled overseas, including their possible current whereabouts, Xinhua reported.

The information included the suspect's name, gender, ID card number, former title, suspected crime, date of arrival in the current country and travel document number, according to a statement from an office in charge of fugitive repatriation and asset recovery under the Central Anti-corruption Coordination Group. Their whereabouts were as specific as the streets where the fugitives were believed to be living.

"We hope overseas Chinese, foreign citizens of Chinese origin and international friends will help identify these fugitives … and give them no place to hide," said the statement. It also said the public can report relevant information to Chinese authorities via an official website. 

Despite such tight measures and close cooperation, Tang said recovering booty is still a challenge, even more so than capturing the suspects themselves. As overseas fugitives usually use multiple channels, both legal and illegal, to divert their ill-gotten assets overseas (and often under another person's name, such as distant family members), finding their stash is not unlike hunting for lost treasure.

But overall, he believes China has achieved a periodic victory in its anti-corruption campaign, as the measures tighten, China and the international community are coming to a consensus on the issue. 

Casting a sky net

Operation Sky Net is an anti-graft campaign launched by Chinese authorities in a bid to capture corrupt officials who have fled abroad. 

There are four ways to recover fugitives: 

▶ Extradition: foreign countries send fugitives that China accuses as criminals or has already sentenced back for trial or to serve sentences.  

▶ Repatriation: China provides leads to countries fugitives are in to request any foreigners without legal status be sent back.

▶ Off-site prosecution: China provides evidence and requests the foreign countries to prosecute the fugitives according to their laws. 

▶ Persuasion to return: By educating and persuading the fugitives, help them turn themselves in back to China.

There are five ways to recover booty:

▶ With the aid of mutual assistance in criminal justice or extradition treaty

▶ Use local Criminal Assets Recovery Act of the country the suspect is in or any other domestic laws to retreat the booty

▶ By an overseas civil suit   

▶ Using criminal policy to urge suspects or their relatives to voluntarily give up booty  

▶ Go through forfeiture proceedings in Criminal Law

Sentenced to 25 years in US.prison,but released after just 5 years because of a treaty transfer....

On February 26, 2009, an Iraqi-born Dutch citizen, Wesam Al Delaema, was charged with participating in a conspiracy to attack Americans based in Iraq.


The criminal complaint was filed at U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia on July 27, 2008.  Al Delaema, a/k/a Wesam Khalaf Chayed Delaema, was charged on four counts:  conspiracy to kill U.S. citizens abroad; conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives); possession of a destructive device (explosives) during a crime of violence; and conspiracy to possess a destructive device (explosives) during a crime of violence. (1)

Al Delaema, 32, was born in Fallujah, Iraq.  He was arrested by Dutch law enforcement authorities on May 2, 2005 and was facing similar charges in that country.  The United States informed the Dutch authorities of its intention to request his extradition to face the charges filed in the U.S.

On September 22, 2008, Dutch authorities announced that Al Delaema had been transferred into extradition custody in response to the request from the United States.

Al Delaema pled guilty in Federal Court in Washington, D.C. on February 26, 2009, and was sentenced to 300 months in Federal prison.

 On March 29, 2010, Wesam Al Delaema BOP Register Number 28879-016 was successfully treaty transferred back to the Netherlands. (2)

Dutch grant release to man who plotted to kill Americans in Iraq

By Ellen Nakashima        Thursday, October 14, 2010

The United States denounced a Dutch court's decision Wednesday to grant an early release to a Dutch citizen who had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for conspiring to kill Americans in Iraq.

"We are extremely disappointed in the Rotterdam District Court's decision to release Wesam al-Delaema from prison after serving less than six years, and rejecting the 16-year prison term recommended by Dutch prosecutors," Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said.

Delaema was convicted by a U.S. court, then transferred to Dutch custody. He agreed to accept a 25-year sentence in exchange for a guilty plea.

It was unclear whether Delaema had been freed by late Wednesday, but a spokesman for the Dutch national prosecutor said his release was imminent.

Delaema, who grew up in Iraq and became a Dutch citizen in 2001, admitted traveling to Iraq in 2003 to be a member of an insurgent group in Fallujah.

He was videotaped planting roadside bombs designed to kill Americans. In one video, a hooded Delaema could be seen brushing dirt away from an explosive device and then helping to rebury it. In another clip, he could be heard saying, "We have executed several operations and most of them were successful. . . . The casualties have gone beyond your imagination."

Dutch police thought Delaema might have been involved in the May 2004 killing of an American contractor in Iraq. They turned up no evidence linking him to the killing but did turn up the other evidence linking him to terrorist activity, U.S. prosecutors said.

After Dutch police arrested Delaema in May 2005, a two-year extradition battle ensued in which the United States agreed that if he were tried in a U.S. court, he would be sent home to serve his sentence, and that the Dutch courts would be able to review and possibly modify the terms of the sentence. "Mr. al-Delaema deserved to serve a prison sentence that represented the severity of his crime," Sweeney said.

She said that when the United States sent him home, it provided evidence of Delaema's crimes, including an admission of aggravated assault that resulted in the hospitalization of a guard from the D.C. jail.

"We strongly disagree with any assertion or conclusion that the conditions under which Delaema was held in custody in the United States - which were identical to those of other inmates - justified shortening the length of his prison term in the Netherlands," Sweeney said.

Japan murder case: Chinese national in Toronto committed for extradition

A judge has committed a Chinese national living in Toronto for extradition to Japan amid questions about a 1995 supermarket murders.


A judge has ordered a Chinese national living in Toronto to be committed for extradition to Japan, where he is wanted for questioning in a high-profile supermarket murder of a woman and two schoolgirls.

Liang He, 41, who describes himself as a Brampton supermarket worker, was allegedly involved with criminal gangs in Japan, according to Ontario Superior Court Justice Robert Clark.

Clark ruled Monday that the married father of two sons should be extradited to face charges of using an improperly issued Japanese passport, though his lawyers argue Japan is using that as an excuse to question him about the murders.

The courthouse on University Ave. was beset by 20 Japanese reporters covering the story.

On the night of July 30, 1995, three part-time workers were shot at Nanpei Supermarket in the Tokyo suburb of Hachioji. Dead were high school students Hiromi Maeda, 16, and Megumi Yabuki, 17, as well as 47-year-old Noriko Inagaki. The crime remains unsolved.

Liang He is alleged to have lived in Japan from the 1990s until 2002. In 1994, He was found guilty in Yokohama District Court of an immigration offence and deported. But he returned to Japan, joining a gang committing burglaries and robberies, the judge said.

In 2002, he allegedly returned to his native China, using a fake passport, and dealt illegal drugs with a Japanese accomplice, Teruo Tekeda, Clark wrote. Tekeda was arrested in China and sentenced to execution. While awaiting death, Tekeda told authorities that although He was not likely responsible for the Japanese supermarket murders, he might know who was.

Tokyo police believed it was vital to interrogate He “to solve this high-profile unsolved murder case,” extradition documents said.

Outside court, He’s lawyers, Peter Zaduk and Robin Parker, said they will appeal his extradition, which could take up to three years, and will seek to renew his bail.

They argued Japan’s application is an abuse of process because the passport allegation is a ruse to question him about the murders. They said He is willing to be questioned by Japanese police in Canada, which would be fairer and quicker.

But Clark ruled there is clear evidence a passport crime was committed. “I cannot agree that the present intention to prosecute is a sham.”

It is now up Justice Minister Rob Nicholson whether to deport He, who is a Canadian citizen after having made a successful refugee claim.

Judge dismisses publication ban request in case of Vancouver developer facing extradition

A B.C. Supreme Court judge dismissed a defence lawyer’s application Friday for a publication ban in the case of a Vancouver real estate developer facing possible extradition to the US to face fraud allegations.

Accused fraudster Mark Chandler (left) crosses the street on his way back to BC Supreme Court Friday, September 8, 2017 to attend his extradition hearing .

Accused fraudster Mark Chandler (left) crosses the street on his way back to BC Supreme Court Friday, September 8, 2017 to attend his extradition hearing.

Mark John Chandler, a longtime Vancouver real estate developer with a history of legal skirmishes, appeared Friday in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver for a hearing in which the US government seeks his extradition to face allegations he participated in an alleged “fraudulent scheme” involving a proposed Los Angeles highrise condo development. After an investigation by an FBI Special Agent, the US requested Chandler’s extradition from Canada in March 2015.

As reported this week in The Vancouver Sun, Chandler’s extradition hearing comes at the same time as his most recent Metro Vancouver condo project is entangled in legal disputes, including foreclosure actions initiated by private lenders and a lawsuit filed on behalf of dozens of people claiming they paid deposits for strata units in the Langley development.

In court Friday, Chandler’s lawyer Michael Bolton referred to The Sun story in his application for an interim publication ban.

As of Friday’s hearing, it has been more than two years since the US requested Chandler’s extradition.

But, Bolton said, it wasn’t until this week the case received “a huge amount of publicity” because of the Sun’s coverage.

Because Chandler, 54, faces a federal felony charge in the US, it will automatically go to jury trial, Bolton said, arguing that publishing details of the case might impair Chandler’s chances at a fair trial in the US if he is eventually extradited.

The Attorney General of Canada opposed any publication ban, said John Gibb-Carsley, a lawyer with the Department of Justice Canada, who is acting on behalf of the US in the case.

A publication ban on Chandler’s case would be inappropriate, Gibb-Carsley said, citing an earlier Canadian court decision regarding a US extradition request which highlighted the right of freedom of the press, saying: “Public confidence in our judicial system is not enhanced if justice is dispensed behind closed doors and for reasons that are kept secret.”

Gibb-Carsley said an application for such a ban would normally come at the beginning of an extradition hearing. Since Chandler was arrested in May 2015, there had already been 19 court appearances in connection with the extradition request, Gibb-Carsley said, with no application for a publication ban before Friday.

Gibb-Carsley argued extradition hearings are often subject to public scrutiny and there was nothing extraordinary about Chandler’s case to require a ban.

Bolton replied that “there was nothing extraordinary about this case until yesterday,” referring to the Sun’s front-page story. After a brief recess to consider the application for a ban, B.C. Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Duncan dismissed it, citing, among other reasons, the importance of the court operating in public.

The extradition hearing was adjourned to next month, for a decision on a request by Chandler’s defence lawyer for further disclosure from the US.

Chandler, when approached outside court on Friday, would not comment.

Supreme Court says woman and brother should be extradited to India in 'honour killing' case

Top court says surrender order from then Justice Minister Peter MacKay after 2000 killing was justified

Jassi Sidhu, right, was killed after she secretly married Mithu Sidhu in India in 2000 . (Family photo)

Jassi Sidhu, right, was killed after she secretly married Mithu Sidhu in India in 2000. (Family photo)

A B.C. woman and her brother, accused of masterminding the murder of her 25-year-old daughter, should be extradited to India to face justice, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled.

India had requested Malkit Sidhu and Surjit Badesha, the mother and uncle, respectively, of Jaswinder (Jassi) Sidhu, be extradited to face trial for a charge of conspiracy to commit murder in the 2000 death.

Jassi Sidhu's body was dumped near a canal after her throat was slashed, allegedly targeted for secretly marrying a man of much lower social status instead of the older man her family had arranged for her to wed in Canada.

Her husband, Sukhwinder (Mithu) Sidhu was badly beaten and left for dead, but he survived.

It is the theory of the Indian government that Jassi was the victim of an "honour killing" arranged by her mother and uncle, the judgment reads. 

Honour killings are normally murders committed because of patriarchal concepts of honour and shame. They're considered gender-based crimes, since girls and women are usually the victims. 

In a unanimous decision released Friday morning, the high court found that a surrender order by then Justice Minister Peter MacKay was justified.

'Reasonable' decision to surrender

"In this case, it was reasonable for the minister to conclude that, on the basis of the assurances he received from India, there was no substantial risk of torture or mistreatment of B and S that would offend the principles of fundamental justice protected by s. 7  of the charter, and that their surrenders were not otherwise unjust or oppressive," the judgment reads.

A surrender order signed by MacKay was challenged and ultimately struck down by B.C.'s Court of Appeal last year.

Sidhu and Badesha had argued they could face neglect or mistreatment in India's prison system, and said there was no guarantee India would uphold its assurance it would not administer the death penalty.

India has provided assurances the pair would have access to medical treatment and would not be mistreated. 

But lawyers for the accused argued before the Supreme Court in March that those assurances were not enough to protect the pair, and that sending them to India would violate their constitutional rights under Sec. 7 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees the right to life, liberty and security of the person. 

Global justice at stake

Government lawyers argued the global system of justice, which relies on extradition treaties, could be undermined if Canada refused to send the pair to face trial in India.

The ruling said the minister considered relevant facts and reached a "defensible conclusion" on the basis of those facts.

Jassi Sidhu was murdered in Punjab, India in 2000.  (Family photo)

Jassi Sidhu was murdered in Punjab, India in 2000. (Family photo)

"The alleged crime for which India was seeking Mr. Badesha's and Ms. Sidhu's extradition was extremely serious, and in the minister's view, it was important that Canada comply with its treaty obligations to India so that India could see justice done on its territory," the judgment reads.

According to the judgment, 13 people, including Badesha and Sidhu, were charged in India in connection with the killing and attack. Eleven of those were tried together in India. Seven were convicted and four were acquitted of offences, and four of them were later acquitted on appeal.

Badesha and Sidhu are the only accused persons who have not yet faced trial.