Archive for ‘corruption’

11/04/2014

In China, Xi’s Anticorruption Drive Nabs Elite, Low Ranks Alike – Businessweek

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anticorruption campaign has lasted longer, gone deeper, and struck higher than many analysts and academics had expected. Xi has been so zealous that since late last year retired Communist Party leaders including ex-President Jiang Zemin have cautioned him to take a more measured pace and not be too harsh, say Ding Xueliang, a professor of social science at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, and Willy Lam, an expert on elite politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Chinese President Xi Jinping in Berlin on March 28

Xi is cracking down on the army and the police at the same time, something no leader has done before, says Ding. Gu Junshan, a lieutenant general in charge of logistics for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has been charged with bribery, embezzlement, and abuse of power, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on March 31. He will be tried in military court.

China’s former top cop and security czar Zhou Yongkang is under investigation for corruption, say Ding and Lam. When asked at a March 2 press conference whether Zhou was under suspicion, a government spokesman avoided a direct answer, saying, “Anyone who violates the party’s discipline and the state law will be seriously investigated and punished, no matter who he is or how high ranking he is.” He added what seems to be a veiled confirmation: “I can only say so much so far. You know what I’m saying.”

More than 180,000 party officials were punished for corruption and abuse of power last year, according to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the party’s watchdog. While most were low-level officials—or “flies,” as Xi has put it—they also included senior party members—“tigers,” in Xi’s words. Thirty-one senior officials were investigated by the commission last year: Eight had their graft cases handed over to prosecutors. The remaining 23 are still being investigated.

via In China, Xi’s Anticorruption Drive Nabs Elite, Low Ranks Alike – Businessweek.

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01/04/2014

China charges former senior military officer with graft: Xinhua | Reuters

China has charged former senior army officer Gu Junshan with corruption, state news agency Xinhua said, in what is likely to be the country’s worst military scandal since a vice admiral was jailed for life for embezzlement in 2006.

An unfinished residence which belongs to former People's Liberation Army (PLA) General Gu Junshan is pictured in Puyang, Henan province January 19, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

In a renewed campaign on graft, Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to go after both powerful “tigers” and lowly “flies”, warning that the issue is so severe it threatens the ruling Communist Party’s survival.

Gu has been charged with corruption, taking bribes, misuse of public funds and abuse of power, Xinhua said on one of its official microblogs on Monday. He will be tried by a military court, it added.

Three sources with ties to the leadership or military, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Gu also sold military positions.

Gu has been under investigation for corruption since he was sacked as deputy director of the logistics department of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in 2012, sources have said.

Sources told Reuters this month that Xu Caihou, 70, who retired as vice chairman of the powerful Central Military Commission last year and from the Communist Party’s decision-making politburo in 2012, was under virtual house arrest while helping in the probe into Gu.

As one of Gu’s main supporters in his rise through the ranks, Xu is being implicated in ignoring, or at least failing to report, Gu’s alleged misdeeds.

Reuters has not been able to reach either Xu or Gu for comment. It is not clear if they have lawyers.

via China charges former senior military officer with graft: Xinhua | Reuters.

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30/03/2014

Exclusive: China seizes $14.5 billion assets from family, associates of ex-security chief – sources | Reuters

Chinese authorities have seized assets worth at least 90 billion yuan ($14.5 billion) from family members and associates of retired domestic security tsar Zhou Yongkang, who is at the centre of China’s biggest corruption scandal in more than six decades, two sources said.

China's Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang reacts as he attends the Hebei delegation discussion sessions at the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China at the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing in this October 16, 2007 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

More than 300 of Zhou’s relatives, political allies, proteges and staff have also been taken into custody or questioned in the past four months, the sources, who have been briefed on the investigation, told Reuters.

The sheer size of the asset seizures and the scale of the investigations into the people around Zhou – both unreported until now – make the corruption probe unprecedented in modern China and would appear to show that President Xi Jinping is tackling graft at the highest levels.

But it may also be driven partly by political payback after Zhou angered leaders such as Xi by opposing the ouster of former high-flying politician Bo Xilai, who was jailed for life in September for corruption and abuse of power.

Zhou, 71, has been under virtual house arrest since authorities began formally investigating him late last year. He is the most senior Chinese politician to be ensnared in a corruption investigation since the Communist Party swept to power in 1949.

“It’s the ugliest in the history of the New China,” said one of the sources, who has ties to the leadership, requesting anonymity to avoid repercussions for speaking to the foreign media about elite politics.

The government has yet to make any official statement about Zhou or the case against him and it has not been possible to contact Zhou, his family, associates or staff for comment. It is not clear if any of them have lawyers.

via Exclusive: China seizes $14.5 billion assets from family, associates of ex-security chief – sources | Reuters.

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26/03/2014

China’s Three Gorges replaces top executives amid graft probe | Reuters

China’s Three Gorges Corp, which built the world’s biggest hydropower scheme, has replaced its chairman and general manager, the company said, in the latest major reshuffle of a state-owned firm as the government steps up a fight on graft.

China's Three Gorges power company CEO Cao Guangjing makes his statement before the deal signing with Energia de Portugal in Lisbon December 30, 2011. REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

Some officials of Three Gorges, set up in 1993 to run the hydropower scheme, were guilty of nepotism, shady property deals and dodgy bidding procedures, the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog found in February.

The scandal has reignited public anger over the $59-billion dam, which was funded by a special levy paid by all citizens.

Chairman Cao Guangjing has been removed from his position and would be assigned another job, the company said in a statement on Tuesday. It named Cao’s replacement as Lu Chun, but gave no further details.

via China’s Three Gorges replaces top executives amid graft probe | Reuters.

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21/03/2014

AAP Ousts Two Members on Corruption Concerns – India Real Time – WSJ

The political party created to combat corruption, the Aam Aadmi Party, moved quickly to protect its squeaky-clean image Friday, kicking out two party members amid allegations of bribery.

The two party workers have been accused of demanding bribes from wannabe politicians who were trying to get AAP tickets or nomination papers to run on behalf of the party for the Lok Sabha elections.

The Aam Aadmi, or common man, Party said it discovered demands had been made though no deal was done.

“The transactions did not take place but promises were made,” said Arvind Kejriwal, anti-corruption crusader and leader of the AAP, at a news conference on Friday.

One of the workers that was pushed out of the party, Aruna Singh, was an organizer for the party in the Awadh region of Uttar Pradesh and said she was not sure what she was being accused of. She had heard there was some recording of her allegedly involved in some kind of political transaction.

“This decision about me has been taken in haste,” Ms. Singh told The Wall Street Journal. “I didn’t get an opportunity to defend myself. If there is any recording of any transaction, they should have asked me if I was involved.”

Ashok Kumar, the other party member that was ousted, was a treasurer for the party in the Hardoi district of Uttar Pradesh. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

via AAP Ousts Two Members on Corruption Concerns – India Real Time – WSJ.

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15/03/2014

Fighting corruption in India: A bad boom | The Economist

IN THE early hours of February 20th 2010 Uday Vir Singh, an Indian forestry officer, bluffed his way past a private militia guarding a dusty port called Belekeri. For months suspicious-looking convoys of trucks had been thundering across India to the port’s quays on the country’s west coast, just south of the Goan beach where the super-spy mayhem which opened “The Bourne Supremacy” was filmed.

Mr Singh is no more a Jason Bourne than the next entomologist—he has a doctorate on metamorphosis in insects—and the infiltration he mounted with a few colleagues led to no gunplay. But it did uncover a massive scam, with hundreds of officials and politicians in the state of Karnataka in the pockets of an illegal mining mafia that, over five years, had made profits of $2 billion or more shipping illegal iron ore to China.

Such scandals have rocked Asia’s third-largest economy in the past decade. A lot of transactions that put public resources into private hands—allocations of radio spectrum, for example, and of credit from state banks—have come under suspicion. Of the ten biggest family firms by sales, seven have faced controversies. The brash new tycoons who came of age during the boom years of 2003-10 are under a cloud, too. Before he became boss of the central bank last year, Raghuram Rajan worried publicly that India could start looking like an oligarchy along the lines seen in Russia: “too many people have got too rich based on their proximity to the government.”

via Fighting corruption in India: A bad boom | The Economist.

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03/03/2014

* China punishes 829 judges, court staff for corruption in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn

China investigated and punished 829 judges and other court staff for corruption in 2013, up 42.3 percent year on year, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) said on Sunday.

The main entrance to the Supreme People's Cour...

The main entrance to the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Among the 829 court officials, 157 were transferred to judicial organs for prosecution, 294 punished for violation of Party disciplines, and 531 punished for breaching government disciplines, the SPC said in a statement.

The SPC said 683 judges and court staff turned over illegal gains including cash, securities and payment documents, to the value of 3.32 million yuan (540,000 U.S. dollars), in 2013.

The authority will continue the “high-handed posture” in the fight against judicial corruption, said the statement.

via China punishes 829 judges, court staff for corruption in 2013 – Xinhua | English.news.cn.

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03/03/2014

India to investigate suspected kickbacks in Rolls-Royce deal | Reuters

India’s defence ministry said on Monday it had ordered a bribery investigation over state-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited‘s (HAL) purchase of jet engines from Britain’s Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.L) in a deal worth at least $1.2 billion.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Central Bureau of Investigation, the country’s top crime-fighting agency, will look into more than 5 billion rupees ($80 million) in alleged kickbacks in the deal that was signed in 2011, a ministry official told Reuters.

No comment was immediately available from Rolls-Royce’s office in India.

Suspicions of corruption in India’s defense procurement program have for years delayed the modernization of the armed forces of the world’s most populous nation that continue to rely heavily on outdated Soviet-designed equipment.

The air force has been dogged by a series of crashes of its Russian-built MiG fighter jets, while an accident aboard a Soviet-made submarine that killed two officers last week led the navy’s chief of staff to resign.

India’s Congress party-led government is keen to be seen as tough on graft before parliamentary elections due by May. The party, lagging in the polls, has faced rising public anger over a string of corruption scandals in its current term.

The probe into the HAL deal follows the arrest in Britain last month of Indian-born businessman Sudhir Choudhrie and his son in a bribery investigation by the Serious Fraud Office into Rolls-Royce’s dealings in China and Indonesia.

Both men denied any wrongdoing and have been released on bail, their spokesman said last month.

via India to investigate suspected kickbacks in Rolls-Royce deal | Reuters.

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28/02/2014

Chinese criticize state firm behind Three Gorges dam over graft probe | Reuters

A scathing report on corruption at the company that built China’s $59-billion Three Gorges dam, the world’s biggest hydropower scheme, has reignited public anger over a project funded through a special levy paid by all citizens.

Ships sail on the Yangtze River near Badong, 100km (62 miles) from the Three Gorges dam in Hubei province August 7, 2012. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The report by the ruling Communist Party’s anti-graft watchdog last week found that some officials at the Three Gorges Corporation, set up in 1993 to run the scheme, were guilty of nepotism, shady property deals and dodgy bidding procedures.

Between 1992 and 2009, all citizens had to pay a levy built into power prices across China to channel money to the dam’s construction, a project overshadowed by compulsory relocations of residents and environmental concerns.

“The relatives and friends of some leaders interfered with construction projects, certain bidding was conducted secretly … and some leaders illicitly occupied multiple apartments,” the graft watchdog said on its website(www.ccdi.gov.cn).

The Three Gorges Corporation published a statement on its website on Tuesday saying it would look into the issues the probe raised, and strictly punish any corrupt conduct and violations of the law and party discipline.

The accusations – made as part of President Xi Jinping‘s crackdown on deep-rooted corruption – have spread rapidly across China’s popular Twitter-like service Sina Weibo, and some of China’s more outspoken newspapers have weighed in too.

via Chinese criticize state firm behind Three Gorges dam over graft probe | Reuters.

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20/02/2014

China charges former mining magnate with murder, gun-running | Reuters

Prosecutors in central China on Thursday charged the former chairman of Hanlong Mining, which had tried to take over Australia’s Sundance Resources Ltd, with murder, gun-running and other crimes as part of a “mafia-style” gang.

Police last year announced the detention of Liu Han and an investigation into his younger brother Liu Yong – also known as Liu Wei – on suspicion of various criminal activities.

In a report carried by the official Xinhua news agency, prosecutors in the central province of Hubei said the two Lius set up the gang in 1993, along with 34 others, which “carried out a vast number of criminal activities”.

The gang was responsible for nine murders, the report said.

via China charges former mining magnate with murder, gun-running | Reuters.

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