February 01, 2010

On Average, Corrupt Chinese Officials Abscond with 1,000,000,000 yuan Per Person

Dated January 10, 2010

During a press conference on January 8th, Vice president of Ministry of Supervision (MOS) Yufu Li (李玉赋) announced that MOS is currently working with 15 other government agencies to devise procedures that will prevent venal Chinese officials from taking cross-national flight. Some provincial government bodies are also cooperating in this effort by strengthening communication between departments.

Additionally, People's Bank of China, Banking Regulatory Commission, Insurance Regulatory Commission, and Securities Regulatory Commission collectively published documents concerning the new anti-corruption scheme. The Ministry of Finance is leading this project with 7 tasks and has already assigned responsibilities to National Development and Reform Commission and People's Bank of China. Moreover, the Supreme Court, People's Procuratorate, and State Administration of Work Safety will engage in regular discussion with participating government bodies.

The push to form anti-absconding policies began after Wenzhou party official Xianghong Yang (杨湘洪) caused a public outcry because he led a delegation to France on some business trip and then refused to return to China. Due to the increasingly common occurrence of officials who fail to return from overseas, MOS and the National Bureau of Corruption Prevention has formed a special task force to investigate this phenomenon.

To prevent such occurrences in the future, MOS will enact stricter management of passports and candidate screening.

Yufu Li emphasized during the press conference that the new system already has an impact. Last year, the number of party officials and delegations that traveled abroad on business trips and the funds spent have been reduced by 49%, 45.5%, and 37.6%, respectively, compared to the expenditures of the past 3 years. In the first half of 2009 alone, 319 suspected officials have been detained and 5.37 million yuan have been recovered.

Secrets Revealed--4 most common absconding methods
Sociologist Doasheng Shao (邵道生) said during last night's interview that there are tell-tale signs before venal officials high-tail out of town (a summary is given below): a majority will send spouses and children abroad under pretenses of business or higher education. Once they naturalize or receive permanent residency, these family members will help transfer assets abroad. Corrupt officials are quite creative when it comes to money laundering, using clandestine excuses such as "Foreign Investments by Chinese Businesses" and/or "Buying Equipment." Once the money and properties are safely transplanted, these party officials will then "flee naked."

Seven Steps to Successfully Flee Country
1. Transfer money and assets to foreign countries
2. Family members immigrate
3. Prepare passport
4. One last ferocious effort to get as much graft money as possible
5. Resignation or unannounced departure from post
6. Live at a secret hideout
7. Obtain a new identity

Because venal officials usually have remarkable people skills, their networks go deep and wide. This is why they can effectively counter anti-corruption policies. The 4 most successful escaping routes are:

1. They will go abroad as part of official party delegations and then invent various excuses so that they can stay abroad. For example, former president of the Harbin branch of People's Bank Gaoshang Chang (长高山) have taken 18 such trips to Canada, taking advantage of these opportunities to prepare his escape.

By the same method, Director of Guizhou Department of Transportation Wanli Lu (卢万里), Head of Henan Tobacco Monopoly Bureau Jifang Jiang (蒋基芳), Henan Luohe City Secretary Sanchang Cheng (程三昌), Deputy Director of Yunan Department of Transportation Huxing Chang (长胡星), Deputy Director of Zhejiang Department of Infrastructure Xiuzhu Yang (杨秀珠) all have successfully left China.

2. They will join tourist groups in order to leave China. Once outside, they run for another country, typically somewhere in South or Southeast Asia.

3. They will apply for real passports under false identities. A good example is the Deputy Director of Wenzhou Department of Infrastructure Xiuzhu Yang. When his brother Guangrong Yang (杨光荣) was arrested for accepting bribery, Xiuzhu Zhang likewise fell under the scrutiny of Wenzhou People's Procuratorate. When fleeing the country with the rest of his family, Xiuzhu Yang used all fake legal documents.

4. They will partner with gangs. In U.S.A. and Australia where there is a high concentration of corrupt Chinese officials, companies have been set up to provide escape-abetting services. By utilizing loopholes in local laws, such companies does everything from housing arrangement, money laundering, to creating new legal identities. Unfortunately the services also cost an arm and a leg.

About 4000 Chinese officials have escaped abroad in the past 30 years, carrying with them a total of 500,000,000,000 US dollars in funds. On average, each person absconded with approximately 1,000,000,000 Chinese yuan.

An Incomplete Criminal list

Xiuzhu Yang (杨秀珠)
Deputy Director of Wenzhou Department of Infrastructure
Time: 2003
Destination: U.S.A

Yang Gao (高严)
Secretary of Yunnan Province
Time: 2002
Destination: Australia

Wanli Lu (卢万里)
Director of Guizhou Province Department of Transportation
Time: 2002
Destination: Fiji

Zhixin Zheng (郑治新)
Cashier at Internal Revenue Service, Menglian County, Simao Prefecture in Yunnan Province
Time: 2001
Destination: Myanmar

Fu Lan (蓝甫)
Deputy Major of Xiamen City
Time: 1999
Destination: Australia

Feng Wang (汪峰)
Deputy Director of Nan Hai City Port Office
Time: 1995
Destination: New Zealand


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