The Ministry of Commerce said 4,000 corrupt officials fled China in the last 20 years, absconding with US$600 million, or about US$150,000 each on average. But there is wide disagreement on how much stealing has been going on. People's Daily said more than 500 party, government and state company officials are currently wanted for embezzling up to US$8.4 billion. The ministry said the fugitives set up companies in offshore finance centers, such as the British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas, to park their illicit gains. Estimates suggested these front companies number in the tens of thousands. But some crooks retire to more prosaic locales. www.chinacourt.org, the Chinese judiciary's official web site, cites the case of one Henan area ex party chief, Cheng Sanchang, who set up a company in New Zealand and then exited in 2002 as president of Yugang Corp, bringing with him more than RMB 10 million.