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China Tackles 10,992 Commercial Bribery Cases
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China dealt with 10,992 cases of commercial bribery, involving some 3.29 billion yuan (US$411 million), between August 2005 and September 2006, said a senior official of the Party disciplinery inspection Wednesday.

"A total of 2,537 cases, or 23.1 percent, were related to civil servants," said He Yong, head of an anti-bribery group, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

He, also deputy secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said the cases implicating public servants involve 835 million yuan (US$104 million), about 25.4 percent of the sum involved.

"A total of 68 high-level government officials under provincial or central government ministries, and 511 county-level cadres, were involved in the cases," He told Xinhua.

He said severe punishment and a crackdown played a key role in deterring crimes and stemming the spread of commercial bribery.

He pointed to major construction projects, land transfers, property transactions, pharmaceutical sales and government procurement contracts as some of the areas that needed careful scrutiny.

"More severe punishments will be imposed on civil servants who are involve in commercial bribery and the government is to strengthen the management of public servants," said He, adding the public is encouraged to report any commercial bribery case.

Commercial bribery usually refers to bribes from companies and often involve a firm paying money to government officials for special favors.

(Xinhua News Agency November 30, 2006)

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