The number of criminal suspects who flee the country has increased by 60 percent over the last four years.
According to data the Justice Ministry submitted Sunday to a parliamentary audit, the number of criminal suspects who fled overseas in 2008 was 454, up 60 percent from 271 in 2004. Some 306 criminal suspects fled overseas from January to August this year.
This has increased the number of extradition requests and prisoner exchanges.
A mere 28 Korean suspects were arrested abroad and deported to Korea in 2004, but the number rose to 57 in 2008. A total of 316 suspects were extradited to Korea between 2004 and the first half of this year. Japan extradited the largest number with 54 suspects, followed by Russia (34), the U.S. (17), Argentina (17), and Poland (13).