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Audit finds 61.7 billion yuan misused
( 2004-01-31 10:45) (chinadaily.com.cn)

Audits aimed at ferreting out corruption uncovered 61.7 billion yuan (US$7.7 billion) in misused or embezzled funds and widespread irregularities that produced "serious losses" of state assets.

Auditors investigated 130,000 state-owned enterprises and government offices last year, said Li Jinhua, head of China's National Audit office.

As a result of the audits, 24.9 billion yuan were returned to the government.

Li told officials attending a national conference Friday that 1,867 cases were forwarded to prosecution and disciplinary authorities by the audit office, including 13 major cases involving more than 1 billion yuan (US$121 million) that were directly reported to the State Council.

The cases of 749 officials were referred to prosecutors for criminal investigations, the audit office said on its websites.

Li said the financial malpractice fell into three main categories:

-- Units and individuals cheating on individual consumption loans, such as housing and car loans, with false documents, and local governments applying for huge city building loans beyond their repayment abilities.

-- Enterprises cheating on huge loans by writing false bank acceptance bills without any real trading.

-- Criminals colluding with bank employees in fraudulently obtaining loans involving affiliated enterprises, causing serious credit fund losses.

Investigations into the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China one of the country's biggest state-owned banks find irregular housing and auto loans granted to organizations or individuals using false documents.

The bank suffered "serious losses" from illegal loans granted by staff and related companies, it said without giving figures. The report also cited a "big batch" of major economic crimes but did not elaborate.

Li said the office also organized economic liability audits of leading members of the former state-run National Power Corporation last year, finding that slack management had caused serious state assets losses.

Audits of the implementation of central budgets was another focus as uncovering problems in the distribution and management ofthe budgets and subsidies from the central government for local expenditure was always a priority, Li said.

 
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