More than half of criminals who fled country still at large

August 27, 2014

runSEOUL (Yonhap) — More than half of criminal suspects who have fled the country to escape punishment have not yet been rounded up, a report showed Wednesday.

A total of 3,890 offenders absconded overseas after committing crimes on South Korean soil in the past five years, the report showed. Of that total, 2,175, or 55.8 percent, are still on the run.

Rep. Lee Sang-min of the ruling Saenuri Party released the report based on data the justice ministry submitted to the National Assembly for an annual audit.

China was the most favored destination for fugitives with 707 choosing to go there, followed by the Philippines with 283, Japan with 223 and Hong Kong with 165, the data showed.

By the type of crime, 1,1390 were fraud suspects, followed by 247 people accused of embezzlement, 149 of drug-related crimes and 86 of theft, the data showed.

“We must continue pursuing criminal suspects who flee abroad to bring them to justice,” Lee said, adding the government should come up with detailed judicial cooperation with other countries to arrest and extradite the suspects.