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Railway officials dismissed for fraud

(China Daily)

08:30, November 14, 2011

BEIJING - The Ministry of Railways on Sunday dismissed at least 10 railway officials and fined local railway authorities for contract fraud that led to unqualified subcontractors - including a former cook - using substandard material to build bridges in Northeast China.

The ministry also ordered the demolition of 16 piers of two extra-big bridges - part of a 2.3 billion yuan ($360 million) railway project - in Jingyu county and Fusong county in Jilin province. These will be reconstructed.

The dismissed officials were working for: owner of the 74.1-km-long rail project, Shenyang Railways Bureau, general contractor, China Railway No 9 Group Co, and the supervisor of Shenyang Railways Construction Supervision Company.

Publicity officials of the general contractor told Xinhua, "At least 10 officials were dismissed over the case, excluding those who would possibly be handed over to judicial authorities".

Also, China Railway No 9 Group and Shenyang Railways Construction Supervision Company were fined to cover the reconstruction costs and were disqualified from making bids for railway contracts for a year.

Calls to the Group and Shenyang Railways Bureau on Sunday afternoon went unanswered.

The ministry said that investigations were conducted, following up media reports of contract fraud, illegal subcontracting and compromising on quality published in October, and the allegations were found to be true.

Early media reports said China Railway No 9 Group subcontracted the project to several companies, including one from East China's Jiangxi province, which, in turn, engaged migrant workers to build two extra-big bridges and a tunnel.

But the Jiangxi-based company made an announcement in September, saying a group of frauds had forged the company's stamps, passing themselves off as company staff who carried out the project with China Railway No 9 Group.

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