Former Vice-Minister of Public Security Li Jizhou has been expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) and discharged from public employment, and is now awaiting trial for his role in the Xiamen smuggling case, the most serious smuggling case ever reported in China.
Yuan Chunqing, secretary-general of and spokesman for the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, made the announcement at a press conference co-sponsored by the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the Ministry of Supervision in Beijing Tuesday.
Investigations disclosed that Li received huge bribes between December 1994 and the first half of 1997 from Lai Changxing, the mastermind of the Xiamen smuggling case, and other suspects involved in the case.
In return, Li, who was also deputy head of the National Anti-Smuggling Leading Group, interfered at the request of Lai when police and border security authorities were investigating an oil tanker used by smugglers.
Between November 1994 and August 1995, Li and his mistress received huge bribes from smuggling suspect Liang Yaohua for helping Liang register a company and set up a duty-free warehouse. Li also hampered the investigations against Liang.
Meanwhile, local courts in Xiamen, Fuzhou, Quanzhou and other cities have brought verdicts to the first trial of the second batch of 94 cases related to the Xiamen smuggling case, involving 129 suspects.
Involved in these cases are 91 Party members and government officials, including Chen Yanxin, former general manager of the Fujian Petroleum Company; Che Dian, a former senior Party official from the Xiamen customs; Lin Jindong, a senior Party official from Xiamen City; and Lin Zhenmu, former president of the Fujian Branch of the Bank of China.
Others include Zhou Zhongze, former president of the Xiamen Branch of the Bank of Communications; Yan Caiyi, a former prosecutor and Huang Herong, former head of the Xiamen Port Administration.
All the above have been expelled from the Party and from public employment.
Chen Yanxin and three others have been sentenced to death.
Yang Shangjin, former deputy head of the Investigation Bureau of the Xiamen Customs; Li Luqi, a former taxation official; and four others were sentenced to life imprisonment.
The other 119 were sentenced to different terms of imprisonment.
According to the spokesman, the former deputy head of the Party in Xiamen, Zhang Zongxu, and former Xiamen Deputy Mayor Su Shuili have also been expelled from the Party. Su was also discharged from public employment.
Guo Xiaoling, a former senior Party official in Xiamen, and Zhao Keming, a former deputy mayor of Xiamen, have been expelled from the Party and are facing criminal investigation.
So far, 167 cases involving 273 defendants in the Xiamen smuggling case have been accepted by local courts and 213 defendants in 119 cases have been sentenced.