Sinopec to investigate extravagant liquor bills

08:44, April 15, 2011      

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China's top oil refinery company Sinopec said Thursday it has sent an investigation team to its Guangdong arm after the subsidiary's massive alcohol bills were posted online earlier this week, triggering public outrage.

Invoices for pricey drinks purchased by the company's Guangdong branch, including the world-famous Chateau Lafite Rothschild and the national liquor Kweichow Moutai, were disclosed online on Monday.

One invoice indicated that foreign-brand wines worth 540,000 yuan($82,646) were bought at one time and another invoice was written for different types of Kweichou Moutai totaling 958,000 yuan.

The company's Guangdong branch later confirmed the authenticity of the invoices but did not say why the liquor was used.

The company's extravagance immediately caught public attention as people in China are still fretting over rising fuel prices.

On April 7, China increased retail gasoline and diesel prices for the second time this year, as the ongoing conflict in Libya curtailed supplies and post-quake reconstruction in Japan is expected to push up demand.

The public blamed the company for extracting too much profit and demanded that Sinopec disclose why the liquors were used.

The company said it will make the investigation results public as soon as possible.

Net profits of Sinopec in 2010 rose 13.7 percent from one year earlier to 71.8 billion yuan, according to a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange last month.

Source: Xinhua
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