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More officials probed for graft

By Zhang Yan (China Daily)

08:45, October 29, 2012

National system put in place to fight corruption

The number of officials investigated for corruption and dereliction of duty has risen this year, a prosecutor said.

From January to August, prosecutors across the country had investigated 12.7 percent more officials, for crimes related to their office, from a year ago, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Of these, 75.9 percent were accused of corruption and taking bribes. The remainder were under investigation for dereliction of duty.

The worst-hit sectors included engineering, construction, rail and transportation, finance and real estate, said Song Hansong, a director of the Supreme People's Procuratorate's corruption prevention department.

"Powers are centralized and capital flow is intense in these sectors," he said.

Song said prosecutors had also found an increase in corrupt officials fleeing abroad after transferring their assets to other countries. He did not give details.

Officials who consider fleeing usually take a number of similar steps, Song said.

The first step involves sending family members to immigrate, open a business or study. They then transfer their property by money laundering, underground banks or illegal investment and wait for an opportunity to go themselves.

Song mentioned one particular case in June 2006.

Zhou Jinhuo, a former director of administration for industry and commerce in Fujian province was involved in corruption worth 100 million yuan ($16 million), and fled to the United States. He is still a fugitive there.

Documents from the Supreme People's Procuratorate show that Zhou helped those who bribed him in the bidding process for projects, as well as granting them favorable land rights, from 2003 to 2006.

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