Archive for ‘corruption’

19/12/2014

Beijing Zoo boss who put 8 million yuan fortune down to part-time taxi driving is jailed for life for corruption | South China Morning Post

The former deputy chief of China’s Beijing Zoo – who claimed his 8 million yuan (about HK$10 million) fortune was earned from part-time jobs, including working as a taxi driver – was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Beijing court this morning.

Xiao Shaoxiang was jailed for life today after being found guilty of corruption, including taking bribes and “possessing huge assets of unknown origin”. Photo: Xinhua

The Beijing Second Intermediate People’s Court found Xiao Shaoxiang guilty of corruption, including taking bribes and “possessing huge assets of unknown origin”.

All his personal property would be confiscated, the Beijing-based newspaper, Mirror, reported on its official mainland microblogging Weibo website.

Prosecutors said six million yuan in cash, paintings and gold bullion from unknown sources were found in Xiao’s apartment – a cache worth a total of 8 million yuan, the court said during his trial in August.

He was charged with accepting bribes totalling more than 140 million yuan.

Xiao, 59, had denied all the charges during the trial.

He had defended himself by claiming that he had earned the money from moonlighting as an unlicensed cab driver after work at the zoo from 1991 to 1994.

via Beijing Zoo boss who put 8 million yuan fortune down to part-time taxi driving is jailed for life for corruption | South China Morning Post.

16/12/2014

China jails businesswoman in railway graft case for 20 years | Reuters

A court in China sentenced a well-known businesswoman to 20 years in jail for corruption on Tuesday, saying the woman with ties to a disgraced former railways minister was guilty of bribery and illegally running a business.

Ding Yuxin, also known as Ding Shumiao, helped 23 businesses win railway construction contracts and funnelled 49 million yuan (£5 million) worth of kickbacks to former railways minister Liu Zhijun, state media has previously reported.

She also “offered sexual favours to Liu by arranging an unidentified number of women for him”, the official China Daily reported last year.

In a brief statement on its microblog, a Beijing court said the evidence in the case against her was clear, ordering she also pay a fine of 2.5 billion yuan and have assets worth 20 million yuan confiscated.

It gave no other details.

via China jails businesswoman in railway graft case for 20 years | Reuters.

14/12/2014

China to place permanent anti-graft teams in major departments | Reuters

The corruption watchdog of China’s ruling Communist Party will establish permanent offices in some of the country’s most important party and government departments, state media said on Friday, as part of a sweeping campaign against graft.

Teams will be based in the cabinet office and parliament, as well as the party’s powerful organization department, which oversees personnel decisions, propaganda department and United Front Work Department, which deals with non-Communists, the official Xinhua news agency said.

While numerous corruption inspection teams have fanned out across the country in recent months, this is the first time such offices have been placed in crucial arms of the government, and paves the way for similar permanent offices.

via China to place permanent anti-graft teams in major departments | Reuters.

10/12/2014

Former top planning official jailed for life in China over graft | Reuters

The former deputy head of China’s top planning agency was jailed for life on Wednesday over a bribery scandal that exposed graft at the highest levels of China’s government, and ensnared several companies including Toyota Motor Corp.

Liu Tienan, then deputy chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), attends a news conference in Beijing in this February 27, 2009 file photograph. Liu, a deputy chairman of China's top planning agency, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), is under investigation for suspected ''serious discipline violations'', state media said on 12 May, 2013, REUTERS/Stringer/Files

The sentence, handed down by a court just outside of Beijing, capped the downfall of Liu Tienan, who was sacked as deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) last year, a position that carries ministerial-level status.

Liu was the first ministerial-level official to face an investigation after Xi Jinping became Communist Party head in late 2012 and launched the most aggressive anti-graft campaign China has seen in decades.

via Former top planning official jailed for life in China over graft | Reuters.

07/12/2014

Transparency International Socks China for Corruption – Businessweek

Given all the emphasis Chinese President Xi Jinping has put on fighting corruption over the past two years, you might think China was getting a lot cleaner. More than 80,000 officials have already been punished for breaking party rules, the graft-fighting Central Commission for Discipline Inspection announced earlier this week.

China's President Xi Jinping

But in reality, corruption may be getting worse, according to a survey by Transparency International released today. In its annual Corruption Perceptions Index, the Berlin-based watchdog found that China dropped four points, to 36, on a scale from zero, or highly corrupt, to 100, or very clean, over last year.

That put it alongside Turkey, Rwanda, Malawi, and Angola as the countries where conditions deteriorated most. Meanwhile, China fell from 80th least-clean country to the 100th worst place amongst the 175 countries rated, the report shows. Cleanest was Denmark, while North Korea and Somalia were tied for worst.

“We have heard a lot about government efforts to prosecute corruption and corruption scandals in China. Its commitment to catch ‘tigers and flies’—public officials big and small—indicates the government is serious,” wrote Transparency’s Srirak Plipat in a blog post on the organization’s website today.

Still, the worsening situation poses “a hugely challenging question: how effective is a top-down approach when you don’t have transparency, accountable government and free media and civil society?” Plipat wrote.

The larger picture across Asia was hardly more encouraging. All told, 18 of the 28 Asian countries ranked fell below 40 on the index. The “scores of countries from Asia Pacific, the world’s fastest growing region, are a resounding message to leaders that, despite many public declarations and commitments, not enough is being done to fight corruption,” Plipat wrote.

via Transparency International Socks China for Corruption – Businessweek.

04/12/2014

India Ranked Less Corrupt Than China for the First Time in 18 Years – India Real Time – WSJ

Transparency International’s annual survey ranked India as less corrupt than China for the first time in 18 years as a nationwide outcry against corruption helped lift global perceptions of the South Asian nation.

In the yearly ranking of least-corrupt countries, India jumped 10 places from in its ranking last year to 85th out of the 175. China tumbled 20 places in the ranking to number 100. The last time India did better than China in the rankings was 1996.

The Berlin-based watchdog surveyed multilateral banks, big foundations and other international institutions about the level of corruption in different countries to come up with its annual Corruption Perceptions Index which was used for the rankings.

Perceptions about India were helped as street protests and national elections focused the world’s largest democracy’s attention on corruption, said the Berlin-based watchdog.

The call for a crackdown on corruption led to new laws and a new government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, came to power in May on pledges to fight corruption.

Transparency International India executive director Ashutosh Kumar Mishra gives credit to the anti-corruption movement sparked by Gandhian Anna Hazare. His high-profile protests helped force the previous government to create a number of anti-corruption bills.

China slipped below India after it lost more ground than almost any other country in the rankings, suggesting that many observers are unconvinced by President Xi Jinping’s high-profile campaign to combat corruption.

While the two Asian giants have had the same rankings in 2006 and 2007, this is the first time China has been below India in the rankings since 1996, the first year Transparency International had rankings.

While it may have gained a little ground this year, India still has a long way to go before it can be ranked near the least-corrupt countries like Australia, Canada, Singapore and Denmark.

via India Ranked Less Corrupt Than China for the First Time in 18 Years – India Real Time – WSJ.

30/10/2014

180 economic fugitives back in China to face trial[1]|chinadaily.com.cn

Authorities in China have succeeded in getting extradited or persuading 180 economic fugitives to return to China and face trial since launching a campaign called “Fox Hunt” in July.

180 economic fugitives back in China to face trial

US, Canada, Australia top spots for fugitive Chinese officials

Australia to help in returning fugitives

The number of the fugitives being repatriated during the first 100 days of the “Fox Hunt” is more than that of the whole year of 2013. The returned suspects include many alleged corrupt officials who fled to more than 40 countries and regions, including the US, Canada, Australia and Southeast Asian nations.

Among the fugitives, 104 were hunted down by the police and 76 were persuaded to return. Forty four are suspected to be involved with ill-gotten assets over 10 million yuan ($1.6 million).

China’s Public Security Ministry initiated a six-month operation called “Fox Hunt” to target economic fugitives, especially corrupt officials, who fled abroad with their illicit assets. A special unit was set up by the ministry to oversee the operation. It comprises experienced police officers from the Economic Crimes Investigation Bureau and local public security departments.

According to the ministry, some corrupt Chinese officials have fled to the US, Canada, Australia and Southeast Asian countries in recent years, transferring assets worth many billions of dollars overseas through money laundering and underground sources.

Police in Australia and China recently pledged to cooperate on the extradition of Chinese economic fugitives, including many corrupt officials, in an effort to tackle the difficulties over the return of suspects due to a lack of bilateral extradition treaties.

Four of China’s top governmental departments released a statement this month urging fugitive economic criminals to surrender themselves to justice.

The announcement is another move to reinforce the “Fox Hunt 2014″ campaign.

via 180 economic fugitives back in China to face trial[1]|chinadaily.com.cn.

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29/10/2014

China Tries to Track the Corrupt Officials Fleeing Abroad – Businessweek

China’s government estimates that the number of corrupt officials who have moved abroad to sidestep the law and safeguard personal fortunes ranges from 4,000 to 18,000 people. The government charged with corruption nearly 7,000 officials whom it suspected were plotting to flee the country from 2008 to 2013,  according to Cao Jianming, vice president of the Supreme People’s Court.

Cao, the People's Republic of China's top prosecutor and investigator

Government data in an online report from the People’s Daily names the U.S. and Canada as the top destinations–dubbed “corrupt paradises”–for emigrating officials. Records from authorities in Toronto and Vancouver show that Canadian customs officials seized $13 million in undeclared cash from arriving Chinese emigrants and tourists from April 2011 to June 2012.

In July, meanwhile, China launched “Operation Fox Hunt” in an effort to locate and prosecute corrupt officials who have moved abroad. Beijing does not have an extradition treaty with Washington. “We face practical difficulties in getting fugitives who fled to the U.S. back to face trial, due to the lack of an extradition treaty and the complex and lengthy legal procedures,” Liao Jinrong, an official at China’s Ministry of Public Security, earlier told China Daily.

via China Tries to Track the Corrupt Officials Fleeing Abroad – Businessweek.

21/10/2014

China likely to close ‘gift’ loophole in corruption fight | Reuters

China’s largely rubber stamp parliament is likely to close a loophole when it meets next week to ban officials from getting around corruption allegations by claiming money received was simply a gift, a state-run newspaper said on Tuesday.

Currently, officials can defend themselves from accusations of receiving bribes by saying money or other goods received, like luxury watches or bags, were just a present from a friend, the official China Daily reported.

It is only considered a crime if a link can be made to some sort of abuse of power, it said.

President Xi Jinping has launched a sweeping campaign against deep-seated graft since assuming office last year, warning, like others before him, that the Communist Party’s very survival is at stake.

Xi has vowed to take down high-flying “tigers” as well as lowly “flies” in an anti-graft campaign that has felled Zhou Yongkang, once the powerful domestic security tsar, as well as Jiang Jiemin, the former top regulator of state-owned firms.

The gift rules will probably be changed at a regular meeting of the National People’s Congress opening on Oct. 27, the newspaper said.

“The draft is likely to deem that accepting gifts or money of a considerable amount would be punishable for all government officials,” it added.

“The draft proposal will discuss the possibility of handing down punishment to public servants for accepting goods or money of a certain amount without a direct link to misconduct.”

The amendment is almost certain to be approved as state media generally does not flag such changes if they are not going to be passed.

Under the present system, gifts are meant to be handed over to the government within a month of being received, and some provinces have even set up special bank accounts to handle such money, the newspaper said.

via China likely to close ‘gift’ loophole in corruption fight | Reuters.

19/10/2014

Jayaram Jayalalithaa Granted Bail – India Real Time – WSJ

India’s Supreme Court Friday granted bail to Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the influential leader of one of India’s biggest regional parties, as she appeals her conviction nearly three weeks after she was sentenced to four years in jail for corruption.

In September, a court in Bangalore found Ms. Jayalalithaa and three of her aides guilty of having accumulated wealth beyond their known sources of income.

On Friday, the Supreme Court granted her “conditional bail on grounds that she is unwell and needs to rest at home,” her party’s spokesman Aspire K. Swaminathan told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.

After a case that lasted close to two decades, Ms. Jayalalithaa had to step down immediately from her position as chief minister of the southern state of Tamil Nadu after the September verdict. Her party – the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam– quickly named O. Paneerselvam as her successor as chief minister, she remains the leader of the party and has been in jail in Bangalore since Sept. 27.

Ms. Jayalalithaa denied wrongdoing and appealed for bail in the Karnataka High Court earlier this month on health grounds. But the court rejected her bail plea saying there was no reason to suspend her conviction.

Subramanian Swamy, a petitioner in the case against Ms. Jayalalithaa and a leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party said the top court has asked Ms. Jayalalithaa to submit her appeal within two months in the Karnataka High Court, “failing which her bail would be cancelled.”

via Jayaram Jayalalithaa Granted Bail – India Real Time – WSJ.

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