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Revealed: the team behind China’s Operation Fox Hunt against graft suspects hiding abroadMan leading hunt for corrupt officials overseas reveals the qualities that make his team tickNectar Gan18 April 2015The leader of Operation Fox Hunt, the mainland’s campaign to pursue corrupt officials and economic criminals hiding overseas, has revealed his team consists of 20 “hunters” with an average age of 30 - and includes some who are in their early 20s.Liu Dong, deputy director of the Ministry of Public Security’s economic crimes division who heads the operation, has used recent interviews with mainland media to give the public a rare glimpse into the Fox Hunt team, which brought 680 fugitives back to China in the course of six months last year.He told Xinhua the work required a young team because members needed the strength to withstand long hours and frequent long-distance travel.He listed three main criteria for selection: investigation experience, legal knowledge and foreign language skills.“In [addition] Fox Hunt team members must have high intelligence to cope with sly foxes, a high emotional quotient to smoothly cooperate with law enforcement departments in relevant countries and areas, and a high adversity quotient to better cope with emergency situations, difficulties and dangers,” he said.Liu said the team had changed slightly from last year, as some members needed a rest. The operation launched last July and lasted six months.“Up to now, most team members have had master’s degrees, and the majority have studied economy, law and investigation. Several others majored in foreign languages and enterprise management,” he said.Liu said that the operations were not only laborious, but also filled with risks, including infectious diseases, regional conflicts and local resistance.He said the team went to Nigeria last August to track a suspect, despite the area experiencing an outbreak of Ebola.“Back then we did have hesitations, but we couldn’t predict when the Ebola outbreak would be controlled and we were worried about missing a good chance. In the end we decided to go,” he told Beijing Television.Liu recalled that a team member had a high fever soon after he arrived in Nigeria, causing a panic among other members who worried he had contracted Ebola. It turned out that he had caught malaria, and he stayed behind in the capital while others went ahead with their mission.While the new Fox Hunt operation is in full swing, this year’s first round of inspections by the Central Committee for Discipline Inspection, focusing on state enterprises, is about to come to an end.In a video uploaded to the graft-buster’s website, the committee detailed the work of its inspection teams, which were sent across the country to sniff out corrupt officials.The video details how they prepare and collect information before travelling to their target destinations. On arrival inspectors carry out two-on-one interviews with officials, review government or company reports and receive reports and complaints from the public.They then report to their team leaders who pass on their findings to the commission. They then give feedback to the leaders of the inspected entity and open their findings to the media. Inspection teams then pass the cases over to government departments.
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