Fund abuses found in Beijing-Shanghai Hi-speed Train

10:49, March 24, 2011      

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The National Audit Office has detected that up to 200 million yuan of state funds was embezzled by the unruly contractors during the buildup of the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway project.

Also, the auditors found that at least 187 million yuan ($28.5 million) was pocketed by the contractors with fake invoices and other fraudulent measures in 2010 during the building of the country's longest express rail link, the Office said in a report.

Earlier last month, Beijing detained China's railways minister Liu Zhijun for taking an unidentified sum of bribes from a heavyweight woman contractor. Liu has been ousted from his post by the Central Government. Liu is now facing criminal investigation.

From May to July last year, the National Audit Office examined the project's construction budget plans and actual costs and discovered misappropriation and embezzlement of public funds and other breaches of rules.

The auditors have found out that the majority of the funds were illegally transferred to personal accounts or accounts of fake companies, or abused wantonly by the railway contractors.

They have recommended the judicial officers look into the illicit money transfers, which might sort out the corrupt government officials who presided over project bidding process.

A detained investigation into the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway project is due in June. The auditors said they would focus on whether loopholes they had uncovered were plugged by the railway ministry and local governments responsible for the railway, and look into other fields vulnerable to embezzlement.

The Shanghai-Beijing rail link is said to be costing 218 billion yuan. Construction began in April 2008 after the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co Ltd, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Railways, was established in 2007.

The railway is scheduled to open for business in June.

By People's Daily Online
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