The former transport chief of a poverty-stricken southwest China county was sentenced to death on Friday for taking bribes totaling 22.26 million yuan (3.18 million U.S. dollars) from road contractors.
Yan Dabin, formerly director of transport at Wushan County took bribes equivalent to 20 percent of the county's annual revenue, over the last eight years, the No.2 Intermediate People's Court of Chongqing Municipality heard.
His wife, Fu Shangfang, was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended for five years, after she was found guilty of laundering 9.43 million yuan in a series of house purchases. She was also fined 500,000 yuan.
Yan's corruption was revealed by a leaky toilet on Jan. 1, when a police station in Chongqing received a call from an apartment owner, complaining that water was leaking through the ceiling from the vacant apartment above.
A police officer was sent to assist the maintenance worker enter the property, owned by Yan, to investigate the problem.
In the bathroom of the vacant apartment, the officer found an overflowing toilet, and eight soaked cardboard boxes containing 9.39 million yuan.
Further investigations showed that Yan accepted the bribes in exchange for awarding road and bridge construction contracts.
(Xinhua News Agency August 3, 2008)