'Super-expensive-cigarette director' jailed 11 years for bribes

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, October 11, 2009
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A court in east China's Jiangsu Province Saturday sentenced a government official, dubbed "super-expensive-cigarette director", to 11 years in prison for accepting bribes.

Zhou Jiugeng, former director of the real estate management bureau in Jiangning District, the provincial capital of Nanjing, was convicted of accepting 1.07 million yuan and 110,000 Hong Kong dollars in bribes from contractors, subordinate businesses and officials.

The Nanjing Intermediate People's Court also confiscated 1.2 million yuan (175,784 U.S. dollars) of Zhou's personal property.

The court said the 49-year-old was given lenient punishment for confessing to the prosecutors and handing over the bribes on his own.

Zhou was removed from his post on Dec. 28 for his irresponsible remarks and luxurious lifestyle.

He was under fire late last year when he told the media on Dec. 10 that real estate developers should be punished for selling apartments below cost.

The remark sparked heated debate among the public as they had been complaining about soaring house prices.

Internet users uploaded pictures showing his luxurious lifestyle.

In those photos, Zhou wore a Vacheron Constantin watch, which costs at least 100,000 yuan (14,600 U.S. dollars) in China. There was also a pack of Nanjing 95 Imperial cigarettes sitting in front of him. The cigarettes cost about 150 yuan per pack. Zhou was also found to be driving a Cadillac to work.

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