(Yicai Global) Jan. 19 -- China used an online investigation and surveillance system last year and Chinese courts froze more than CNY180 billion (USD28 billion) of funds in bank accounts belonging to 'dishonest debtors,' per data from the Supreme People's Court.
Courts looked into 34.4 million cases with the system, China Central Television reported today. Authorities seized 31 million cars and 52.2 billion shares, uncovered 780,000 instances of dishonest debtors spending excessively on goods, and prevented such debtors from purchasing and using 9.4 million air travel tickets and 3.7 million high-speed rail ones.
The Supreme Court's investigation and surveillance system is connected with the databases of the police, State Administration for Industry and Commerce, central bank, national banking and securities regulators, and commercial banks. It has access to data on the 18 major types of assets in China. The Supreme Court will continue to improve the system to include other assets in future.
Dishonest debtors are those with enough money to repay their debts, who refuse to comply with court repayment orders by forging financial records or through fraudulent conveyance of assets. They are prohibited from travelling by air and on high-speed railway, staying in luxury hotels, and buying real estate and cars.
The court also has informant reward and property reporting audit systems in place to nab debtors attempting to avoid paying up, an official at the Supreme Court said.