Home>News Center>China

Gamblers netted in nationwide campaign
By Wu Yixue (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-21 06:29

Wang Zhang was considered a high-flyer at an oil tank manufacturer in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality and quickly rose to a senior position.

Wang, 55, was conferred many times the "advanced worker" title because of his "outstanding achievements." He was also elected a deputy of the district-level legislature of Chongqing.

But there was something Wang's colleagues were not aware of - he was also regarded as a high-roller in Myanmar's casinos, of which 82 border China's Yunnan Province, as well as in Macao.

Wang abused his authority to embezzle about 12 million yuan (US$1.45 million) from 1999 mostly through fraudulent money transfers between various departments and gambled away almost all the money.

But the long arm of the law eventually caught up with him as the amount he stole was so huge that the company almost went bankrupt.

Realizing that the chips were down, he fled in November 2003 - trying to elude the police by keeping on the move - but was finally captured on January 14 in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province. He is now in custody awaiting trial.

Most foreign casinos in China's border areas have their sights firmly set on Chinese gamblers, most of whom are betting with public money.

But Wang's case was striking because it came to light after the country launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on illegal gambling and other criminal activities.

Chinese authorities have already adopted measures to prevent officials from gambling with government money abroad. They are working with officials in countries such as Russia and Viet Nam to stamp out the menace of corrupt officials toying with public funds, through information sharing and evidence gathering.

Wang's case was one of the examples provided yesterday by the office of the national campaign under the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing.

The office said it was difficult to completely eradicate the practice of officials gambling away public funds abroad.

"The difficulty is gaining evidence and the lack of co-operation from foreign casinos," said Wu Mingshan, vice-director of the office.

(China Daily 04/21/2005 page2)

  Today's Top News     Top China News

Experts divided over first quarter growth rate



President's first leg of Asian trip fruitful



KMT chairman to visit mainland



Safety experts sent to curb colliery accidents



Iraq's PM Allawi survives assassination bid



China, Austria sign five official pacts


  Tokyo court rejects appeal of war victims
  Toothpaste cancer scare spotlighted
  Experts warn of water crisis
  Workers sorely need a breath of fresh air
  Bus crash kills 27, injures another four
  Safety must improve as air travel grows
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  It is time to prepare for Beijing - 2008