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Ex-railway official's US home cost over 7m yuan

By Wang Qingchu (Shanghai Daily)

09:25, December 21, 2011

A luxury villa in the United States that belongs to a corrupt senior official of the Chinese railway ministry has been exposed as more details of his graft surfaced.

The two-story, five-bedroom house in Walnut, California, was said to be bought by Zhang Shuguang, the ministry's former deputy engineer, and his wife with cash for about US$860,000 in 2002, Century Weekly reported yesterday.

Based on the then currency rate, the house cost more than 7.12 million yuan while the monthly salary of Zhang, then a department head of the ministry, stood at 2,200 yuan, the magazine said.

Zhang, 55, was sacked from his post in March and is being investigated following the removal of Railway Minister Liu Zhijun in February, also under corruption charges. Zhang used to be Liu's right-hand man and is known as a pioneer of China's high-speed railway technology.

Liu was sacked during a graft probe that involved a series of railway projects during his tenure.

The California neighborhood is desirable, as it is close to several good middle schools and Pomona College. A longtime real estate agent said houses in the neighborhood sell for at least 1 million yuan each, the magazine said.

It was revealed that the couple spent US$346,000 on a house in nearby Los Angeles in 1999, sold it for US$615,000 in 2002 and then bought the current one.

In January, just before Zhang's alleged crimes were disclosed, he went to the US and transferred the ownership of the house to his wife.

Zhang's assets are said to amount to US$2.8 billion in banks in the US and Switzerland, Investor Journal reported earlier.

His wife, Wang, also used his connections and dominated the bidding of toilet facilities for high-speed trains. Wang was the exclusive representative of several overseas manufacturers of the toilet facilities, Qianjiang Evening News reported yesterday.

Bidding for projects under the ministry was said to be overrun with price fixing, bid rigging and other forms of collusion. Tougher measures has been launched to weed out the illegal practices.

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Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

Shanghai'd Expat at 2011-12-22125.120.224.*
That wouldn"t buy a small apartment in Hangzhou.
PD User at 2011-12-21183.39.39.*
All these are going on for far too long and should have raised eyebrows of CPC & NPC ages ago!! Why did"nt then?

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