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CBRC Determined to Wipe out Bribery
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The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) detected 113 bribery cases in the banking sector in 2006 that involved 26.08 million yuan (US$3.34 million), and detained 164 people.


Most of the cases have either been settled by the courts or have entered the judicial process, Gong Jie, an official in charge of CBRC's anti-commercial bribery section said yesterday.


The CBRC has stepped up its efforts to prevent bribery or bring the culprits to book in recent years, especially after the central government tightened its resolve to eradicate the social and economic malaise.


A total of 316 commercial bribery cases were dealt with between 2003 and 2005, involving more than 72.7 million yuan (US$9.3 million).


"In most of the cases, bank staff had taken bribes mainly to grant loans for infrastructure construction or large purchases, such as those needed for IT projects," Gong said.


Eleven of the cases between January 2001 and May 2006 involved 26.9 million yuan (US$3.45 million) and were related to the IT projects of the top five banks: the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the Agricultural Bank of China (ABC), Bank of China (BOC), China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications.


"Many cases were reported from State-controlled commercial banks and rural cooperatives," he said. In fact, 55 of the 113 cases in 2006 involved State-controlled commercial banks, with 29 related to rural cooperatives.


Some typical cases listed by the CBRC include:


ICBC's Hubei branch: Former general manager of its information and science department, Wu Weigang, accepted 375,000 yuan (US$48,000) in bribes to clear the branch's equipment purchase and other projects between January 2002 and August 2004. Wu was sentenced to six years in prison last year.


ABC's Shanghai branch: The former head of its security division, Liu Gang, took 840,000 yuan (US$107,600) in bribes from three companies to clear the purchase of security products and bidding for equipment maintenance from them from November 2003 and December 2005. He was sentenced to 13 years in jail in October 2006.


BOC's Hainan branch: Former vice-president of the branch Qin Zhixin accepted bribes worth more than 13 million yuan (US$1.67 million) from 1992 and 2005 to sanction bad loans, and to develop property projects with some firms. He could neither account for more than 20 million yuan (US$2.56 million) of his personal assets. Qin was handed down a death sentence, suspened for two years, last year.


China Everbright Bank: The former vice-president of the bank's Heilongjiang branch Chen Hongbo, took 1.8 million yuan (US$230,700) in bribes from 1999 to 2003. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in February 2006.


Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ: Former general manager of the Shanghai branch of the bank's computer department Cao Yunkan accepted 59,000 yuan (US$7,500) from the company building its IT network project in 2005. Cao was sentenced to one year, with a one-year suspension.


Cao's case was the only one involving overseas invested banks last year.


(China Daily January 31, 2007)


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