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Anti-graft body probes traffic police

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-05 02:09

A former senior traffic police officer in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, is being investigated for serious disciplinary violations, while 39 officers from the city's vehicle administration office are being probed for allegedly taking as much as 21 million yuan ($3.37 million) from driving test takers.

Liang Zhixiong was removed from his post as director of the Zhanjiang Vehicle Administration Office and put under shuanggui early this year, according to the city's Party anti-graft body.

Shuanggui is a procedure in which Party and government officials are asked to confess to wrongdoings at a stipulated time and place, for serious violations of Party discipline and State laws.

Liang is being investigated over allegedly accepting 665,000 yuan in bribes, while 39 officers were suspected of taking bribes worth more than 21 million yuan, according to the statement from the anti-graft body.

Most of the traffic police officers under investigation are driving test examiners, and they are suspected of asking examinees for bribes ranging from several hundred to several thousand yuan to improve their chances of passing the test.

Spurred by the prospect of receiving these payments, many officers from the vehicle administration office had bribed Liang over the past few years in order to become examiners, the anti-graft body said.

The case was made public when Zhanjiang's anti-graft body received reports from residents and a special task force was established to launch an investigation late last year.

The anti-graft body has promised to fully investigate the case and punish those who have violated laws and regulations.

Zheng Fenming, director of the institute of modernization strategy at the Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences, said many cases of corruption at vehicle management departments had been reported in recent years.

"Measures should be taken to prevent and combat such corruption at its source," Zheng told China Daily on Monday.

"The operation of vehicle management departments should be transparent, while more opportunities should be given to the public and insiders to report such corruption," he said.

Zheng added that increasing the number of examiners and examination venues, and improve the existing facilities would also help tackle corruption.

"People usually have to offer bribes when they take driving tests," said Wang Fangchen, a local motorist.

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