10,300 probed in on­go­ing SOE cor­rup­tion crack­down

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YAN Zhangyan1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Prose­cu­tors na­tion­wide are tak­ing strong mea­sures to curb the cor­rup­tion that is plagu­ing Sta­te­owned en­ter­prises, a se­nior anti­graft of­fi­cial from the Supreme Peo­ple’s Procu­ra­torate said.

Fig­ures pro­vided by the procu­ra­torate show that, since 2013, na­tional pros­e­cut­ing de­part­ments have in­ves­ti­gated 10,303 officials and staff mem­bers over al­le­ga­tions of bribery and cor­rup­tion in Sta­te­owned com­pa­nies.

The num­ber ac­counts for 21 per­cent of all cases of cor­rup­tion that were in­ves­ti­gated dur­ing the pe­riod.

Most of the sus­pects were se­nior man­agers who in some cases col­luded with govern­ment officials to ac­cept bribes, com­mit em­bez­zle­ment or take State-owned as­sets.

“The cases mainly in­volved engi­neer­ing projects, pur­chas­ing and sales, prop­erty man­age­ment and in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses,” said Zhao Wu’an, a se­nior of­fi­cial at the SPP’s cor­rup­tion-pre­ven­tion de­part­ment.

“The fun­da­men­tal so­lu­tion is to pro­mote mod­ern en­ter­prise man­age­ment sys­tems in State-owned com­pa­nies, to sep­a­rate pol­i­tics from en­ter­prises and to han­dle the re­la­tion­ship be­tween po­lit­i­cal power and the al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources prop­erly,” said Song Han­song, the de­part­ment’s direc­tor.

He said that to curb the ram­pant cor­rup­tion, prose­cu­tors have ex­am­ined 100 ma­jor na­tional engi­neer­ing projects since 2013, most of which in­volved State-owned en­ter­prises.

He called on watch­dogs within the com­pa­nies, such as in­spec­tors, su­per­vi­sion boards and au­dit­ing de­part­ments, to carry out their du­ties thor­oughly to pre­vent cor­rupt be­hav­ior by staff.

Last year, Chi­nese po­lice ac­cused Glax­oSmithK­line China, a Bri­tish phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant, of of­fer­ing huge bribes to officials and doc­tors to boost their prod­uct sales.

The com­pany also faced ac­cu­sa­tions that it trans­ferred up to 3 bil­lion yuan ($489 mil­lion) to 700 mid­dle­men over six years to fa­cil­i­tate the cor­rup­tion.

Four se­nior Chi­nese ex­ec­u­tives at the com­pany were de­tained, and Ab­bas Hus­sain, pres­i­dent of Europe, emerg­ing mar­kets and the Asia-Pa­cific for Glax­oSmithK­line in Bei­jing, made a pub­lic apol­ogy and said the com­pany will fully co­op­er­ate with po­lice in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Song said pros­e­cut­ing de­part­ments face a num­ber of prac­ti­cal dif­fi­cul­ties when in­ves­ti­gat­ing cor­rup­tion since get­ting their hands on ev­i­dence can be dif­fi­cult as there is no pa­per trail.

Song said the procu­ra­torate will in­crease ed­u­ca­tion in State-owned com­pa­nies about the dan­gers of cor­rup­tion and of­fer ad­vice on how to deal with it.

Com­pa­nies will also take more steps them­selves to com­bat the scourge, he said.

The most ef­fec­tive mea­sure, he said, is to “tighten su­per­vi­sion of ‘naked officials’ in State-owned com­pa­nies”.

This term refers to officials who have sent their chil­dren and spouses over­seas to pave the way for their own de­par­ture, said Liu Fang, a lawyer from the All China Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion.

She also said that greater su­per­vi­sion over State-owned com­pa­nies, es­pe­cially those in­volved in high-cost projects, is re­quired.

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