Mainland criminals who take advantage of lax border policies in making their escape from Hong Kong authorities can expect a lengthy jail term, a District Court judge warned yesterday. Deputy Judge Ernest Lin issued the warning as he jailed mainlander Zhou Ruixiong, 61, for two years after he was on the run for seven years in an attempt to escape liability for a US$74 million bank fraud. 'The accused has taken advantage of the differences in the political systems and fled across the border and later returned using another alias,' he said. 'A heavy penalty is necessary or else it will encourage others to do the same.' Zhou, a director of Ankon International in Hong Kong, pleaded guilty to one charge of using a false instrument in November 1996. He fled after the forgery and was intercepted by police last February when he tried to sneak into Hong Kong on a two-way permit using the alias Zhou Youheng. In sentencing, Judge Lin said the forgery had dealt a heavy blow to Hong Kong's financial system and warranted a heavy penalty as a warning to others.