Corruption cases on the rise in China

September 8th, 2010 - 3:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Sep 8 (IANS) There has been an increase in the number of bribery cases involving government officials in China, a senior official has said.
Song Hansong, deputy-director of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate (SPP) anti-dereliction and infringement department, told China Daily Tuesday that the number of bribery cases involving government officials has increased by 13 percent since 2003.

As many as 9,476 governmental officials were charged by prosecutors in nearly 9,000 bribery cases across the country from January to June this year.

Giving details, Song said that 2,067 cases were about bribe offers in which 2,369 official suspects were involved. The number of cases went up by 18.4 percent from the preceding year and the number of suspects involved increased by 20.5 percent for the same period.

Last year, a staggering 41,531 officials were charged for their involvement in 32,439 corruption and bribery cases.

Statistics from the anti-corruption department of the SPP show that as many as 12,897 cases were regarding bribery, which shows a rise from 12,471 in 2008, the media report said.

Song pointed out that in some of the bribery cases, millions and even billions of yuan were involved and there was a significant increase in the number of senior officials implicated.

He said that majority of the suspects were officials from state-owned enterprises, major construction projects, financial and securities, administrative and law enforcement departments, as well as the party and government organisations.

Besides taking cash offers, the officials attempted to take bribes by seeking house renovation costs, house purchases and free trips.

“Construction projects involve huge amounts of money and cover a wide range of areas. They have long approval procedures, which can easily lead to official corruption driven by huge economic interests,” Song was quoted as saying.

In July 2009, Chen Tonghai, former chairman of China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec Corp), was charged with bribery and sentenced to death.

Chen was convicted of receiving 196 million yuan ($29 million) between 1999 and June 2007, according to the verdict from the Beijing No.2 Intermediate People’s Court.

Song stated that excessive bidding was a focus of corruption and bribery attempts in the construction sector, because relevant laws and regulations are not sound enough.

Two years back, the SPP set up a plan for the prevention of corruption from 2008 to 2012 and a blacklist for graft cases was introduced.

The senior anti-corruption official said: “The plan stipulates that, if any person or work unit is found to have offered bribes, they will be banned from entering the bidding market.”

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