BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese bank branch manager who fled to Canada to evade financial fraud charges almost eight years ago has returned to China and turned himself in, authorities said.
The Chinese Ministry of Public Security said late Monday that Gao Shan, head of a Bank of China branch in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang, swindled large sums of money from several clients between 2000 and 2004 before fleeing overseas. State media say the frauds involved nearly 1 billion yuan ($151 million).
Gao's legal counsel, Alex Ning, told The Canadian Press that Gao remains a permanent resident of Canada but returned to China voluntarily because he was living "with a cloud over his head."
Gao had worked as a handyman in Canada since 2006, and he was arrested a year later by Canada Border Services Agency over irregularities in his immigration documents and then released on a bond, The Canadian Press reported.
Several Chinese who have committed financial and economic crimes have sought shelter in Canada in recent years.
The most prominent one is smuggler Lai Changxing, who was extradited from Canada in 2011 after Beijing assured Canadian authorities he would not be executed if he returned to China. Lai was sentenced to life in prison in May.
Ning, the lawyer, told The Canadian Press that Gao "did not negotiate any particular terms."