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Home > Anti-Bribery & Fraud
China is deploying “Operation Skynet” to further “Fox Hunt”
By Henry Chen | 2020/4/13 19:52:50

“Operation Skynet” is an important operation deployed by the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group targeting fugitive corrupt elements. Through coordinating various efforts of the police, prosecution, diplomacy, finance, etc., the operation combines time and effort to “arrest a number of corrupt criminals, clean up a number of illegal certificates and licenses, cracked down on a number of underground banks, and recovered a number of assets involved”. In March 2015, the operation was officially approved and launched through by the Fugitive Repatriation and Asset Recovery Office of the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group.

“Operation Skynet” consists of several specialized operations, led by the Central Organization Department, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of public security, the people's Bank of China, and other departments. The Central Organization Department specializes in investigating illegal handing and holding of certificates by officials, in addition to pursuing accountability for those responsible for approval and storage of said certificates; the Supreme People's Procuratorate leads operations relating to international fugitive repatriation and asset recovery, with a specialization in apprehending international fugitives with official positions. takes the lead in carrying out special operations involving the arrest of suspect officials who have fled abroad. “Operation Skynet” has achieved remarkable results with the assistance of the United States, Australia, Singapore, Cambodia and other national and regional governments.

The Ministry of Public Security took the lead in “Operation Fox Hunt”, which specializes in arresting fugitive official suspects and important persons involved in corruption cases. The People’s Bank of China, together with the Ministry of Public Security, specializes on the crackdown of the use of offshore companies and underground banks to transfer illicit funds overseas, focusing on the criminal activates of underground banks and the illicit use of offshore company accounts and non-resident accounts to transfer illicit funds overseas.

“Operation Skynet” is an upgraded version of “Operation Fox Hunt”. “Operation Fox Hunt” is led by the Ministry of Public Security, while “Operation Skynet” is composed of a number of special operations, which are led by the Central Organization Department, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security, the People's Bank and other departments. The collaboration of multiple departments allows specialized operations to function more efficiently and in a more targeted manner. For example, under the leadership of the People's Bank of China, many commercial banks and financial institutions can carry out targeted actions to detect money laundering, transfers of illegal assets, concealment of assets. The leadership of the bank also facilitates collaboration with foreign financial departments.

“Operation Fox Hunt”

“Operation Fox Hunt” is an important part of “Operation Skynet”, which is deployed by the Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group. The operation specializes in arresting suspect official fugitives who have fled abroad.

“Operation Skynet”

In addition to carrying on the special mission of “Operation Fox Hunt”, “Operation Skynet” assumes a number of additional tasks, each of which is interconnected to form a "network”. For example, “Operation Skynet” not only focuses on arresting those who have fled abroad and recovering ill-gotten gains, it also focuses on preventing criminals from fleeing abroad. To facilitate this dual purpose of tracking and preventing fugitives fleeing aboard, the operation carries out large-scale comparisons and cleanup of certificates and licenses, which make sure that criminals cannot escape.

Experience shows that one of the important reasons why fugitive officials can easily escape and successfully hide in foreign countries is that they hold multiple certificates and licenses such as passports or ID cards. These passports and ID cards are not rough imitations, but real ones.


The author, Henry Chen, licensed to practice law in China and New York, is a senior partner of Dentons Shanghai Office.  Before joining Dentons, Henry was AP Compliance Director of Ford.  Henry's practice areas include FCPA, anti-bribery and fraud investigation, cyber security and data integrity, compliance management system, corporate matters and dispute resolutions.  Henry's email is  Henry is the author of the book Risk Management on Commercial Bribery in China and the book Compliance Risks of Enterprises in Globalization: Outbreak and Control

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