More than 15,000 corrupt Chinese officials smuggled an estimated $123.6 billion out of China from the mid-1990s to 2008.
According to the Financial Times, Communist party members, judicial members, police, and state-owned corporation executives fled the country with varying amounts of cash.
Well positioned officials with large amounts of money chose the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands as their top destinations — while lower ranking officials did their best to get to countries on China’s borders.
The report identified several ways officials were able to make off with so much money.
- Using overseas casinos to launder money out of the country
- Disguising money transfers to mistresses and relatives abroad
- Obtaining fake trade documents and overseas investments
- Using credit cards to buy high-priced items overseas and using illicit funds to pay back the fees to China
The report suggests more Chinese officials are stealing away with fraudulent funds as the leadership transition approaches next year. The succession will leave many once powerful Chinese without power or position.
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