Possessions of corrupt officials auctioned

Updated: 2007-01-29 19:39

HEFEI -- Around 700 possessions of disgraced officials from east China's Anhui Province were auctioned off on Monday morning.

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The 676 items, including jewelry, paintings, jade and even computers, formerly belonged to six officials found guilty of corruption, including Wang Huaizhong, a former provincial deputy governor who was executed in February 2004 for taking bribes totaling 5.17 million yuan (623,000 US dollars).

The auction was held in Anhui Library in Hefei, attracting a crowd of more than 300 people.

"Many people showed interest as the reserve prices of the ill-gotten gains were low," said Cai Yi, general manager with the Guo'an Auction Company.

By 3:00 p.m., 315 items had been auctioned off, with the prices ranging from 20 yuan (2.5 US dollars) to 20,000 yuan (2,500 US dollars).

An ivory fan, formerly the property of Xiao Zuoxin, former mayor of the Fuyang City who was jailed for life for accepting bribes, was auctioned off for 7,500 yuan (963 US dollars), more than six times its reserve price.

Xu Yong, the fan's new owner, was not concerned about where the fan came from. "It had value in itself and was worth buying," he said.

The money raised by the auction will go straight into the local government coffers.

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