Fugitive official takes US$30m, reports say
Yang Xiuzhu, fugitive former vice-director of the Zhejiang Provincial Construction Bureau, is believed to have taken bribes of 253.2 million yuan (US$30 million), according to a report from Xinhua News Agency.
Officials said the investigation in Yang's case bore fruit when 42.4 million yuan (US$5 million) was recovered and property and funds of over 70 million yuan (US$8.4 million) was frozen.
About five special groups with more than 40 officials from discipline inspection departments were set up in November of last year in five places in Wenzhou, where Yang served as vice-mayor before being promoted to the vice-director of the provincial construction bureau, to investigate the case, according to officials from the Wenzhou Discipline Inspection Commission.
To date, officials have collected evidence from interviewing more than 100 witnesses.
Media began to focus on the case after Yang fled abroad with her daughter, son-in-law and grandson on April 20, 2004 when the local government began to deal with the case.
Yang Guangrong, deputy general manager of the Wenzhou Railway Real Estate Development Company, and the younger brother of Yang Xiuzhu, was sentenced to 10 years and six months imprisonment for accepting bribes.
Yang Xiuzhu, 58, held the post of vice-mayor of Wenzhou from 1995 to 1998 and was in charge of urban planning and construction.
In 1998, Yang became the vice-director of the Zhejiang Provincial Construction Bureau.
Gao Yunguang, once vice-director of the Wenzhou Urban Planning Bureau, and Sha Shaohua, former deputy general manager of Wenzhou Railway Real Estate Development Company, were charged with helping Yang Xiuzhu embezzle over 11 million yuan (US$1.32 million) in February 2004.