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18,000 officials punished for construction corruption

(Xinhua)

09:20, October 17, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- A total of 18,100 Chinese officials have been punished for corruption concerning construction projects during the past three years, according to newly available data.

These officials, among whom 1,697 were cadres at county level, were involved in 27,100 cases investigated by China's disciplinary and supervision organs from August 2009 to the end of August this year, according to a statement issued Tuesday by a leading group under central authorities that handles irregularities in the sector.

More than 9,700 people were transferred to the judicial system for further handling, the statement said.

The country launched a special campaign in mid-August 2009 to crack down on rampant corruption in the construction area.

During the past three years, supervision authorities screened 98,600 real estate projects, 2,150 of which were found to be evading a whopping total of 15.8 billion yuan (2.52 billion U.S. dollars) in land-transferring fees.

The principals of these projects were fined 792 million yuan, and administrative approvals for 47 projects were revoked, it said.

To curb corruption, a national information retrieval network has been established, with more than 5 million items of information concerning construction projects and their credibilities becoming available.

The statement added that disciplinary authorities have given punitive treatment to eight ministerial officials involved in "extremely severe" accidents in the past five years, including former railway minister Liu Zhijun.

Liu was expelled from the Communist Party of China for corruption in May following the high-speed train collision that left 40 people dead and 172 injured near the eastern city of Wenzhou in July last year.
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