Corrupt official steals Three Gorges' cash
By Guo Nei (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-05 05:30
An official who stole 2.81 million yuan (US$350,000) of the Three Gorges
Reservoir Project resettlement fund has been sentenced to death with a two-year
Du Jiang was convicted of pocketing the money when he was in charge of land
acquisition work between December 1998 and May 2004, according to a Xinhua
report on Friday.
He was the boss of the farmland protection section of the Land Resources
Bureau in Wushan County, Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality.
Another 1.79 million yuan (US$ 220,000) of the fund was taken by associates.
Du was deprived of his political rights and stripped of all property,
according to the No 2 Intermediate People's Court of Chongqing.
Six local farmers in collusion with him received sentences with terms varying
from two-and-a-half months to life, the Xinhua report said.
The case is said to be the biggest corruption case of its kind involving the
reservoir project, the world's biggest hydroelectric scheme, which began in
So far, the amount of money put aside to compensate displaced residents has
reached 45.3 billion yuan (US$5.59 billion), said officials from the Three
Gorges Construction Committee.
Xia Kailiang, deputy director of the committee's supervision office, admitted
corruption has occurred in the project, especially in the management of the
relocation fund, but he insisted "corruption and funds' embezzlement has been
minimal" compared to the huge amount of investment.
"And we have found that towns and villages, the lower management levels of
the resettlement fund, are most vulnerable to corruption," he was quoted by
Xinhua as saying.
By the end of last year, 327 cases regarding the management of the
resettlement fund had been discovered, with 369 suspects and 55.79 million yuan
(US$6.89 million) involved. About 86 per cent of the money siphoned off has been
recovered, according to committee officials.
Supervision of the huge construction and relocation funds and their auditing
have been beefed up to weed out corruption and a transparent system has been
established, especially in the lower ranks of management, Xia told Xinhua.
(China Daily 12/05/2005 page3)