Guangdong officials are taking the money and running like never before. According to still incomplete statistics from the Guangdong People's Procuratorate, government and party cadres who are suspects in large-scale corruption cases have absconded with public funds worth more than two billion yuan (HK$1.88 billion). The figures were reported in yesterday's Guangzhou Daily, which quoted the deputy head of the Guangdong People's Procuratorate's Anti-Corruption Bureau, Liu Hengjun. Mr Liu issued a warning to officials still on the run, noting that the scale of the sweep for missing suspects was unprecedented. 'If you think you can just profiteer and run, think again. Voluntarily surrendering in return for more lenient treatment is the only way out,' he said. According to the corruption statistics cited yesterday, Guangdong officials appear to account for a disproportionate amount of the total funds stolen by missing mainland government suspects. On January 18, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the Ministry of Public Security held a work meeting in Beijing to co-ordinate the pursuit and capture of fugitive officials. At that meeting it was reported that nationwide, about 4,000 officials had disappeared with more than five billion yuan. In November, the Guangdong People's Procuratorate and the provincial Public Security Bureau set up a taskforce to pursue corrupt officials. The Economic Crimes Investigation and Command Centre so far has captured 20 suspects, five of whom turned themselves in. According to the Guangzhou Daily, some of those recently caught made the mistake of trying to go home for the Lunar New Year holiday. Last month, the Shenzhen People's Procuratorate received a tip from Zhanjiang authorities that a Zhanjiang native it had sought for more than two years - surnamed Liang - would be heading home for the holiday, and would probably take a flight from Baiyun airport in Guangzhou. After staking out the airport for five days, Liang was caught by Shenzhen investigators and airport security staff on January 25. Another official, surnamed Lin and wanted for more than three years by Huilai county prosecutors in connection with a 40 million yuan embezzlement case, did somewhat better than Liang. Lin, who had been in hiding overseas, at least made it all the way home before being arrested. Mr Liu said that last year more than 60 Guangdong officials who had absconded after being implicated in large-scale corruption cases had been tracked down.