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Financial criminals get tough penalty
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-15 01:41

The Supreme People's Court has approved the death sentence by two local intermediate people's courts to four severe financial criminals, a senior justice said Tuesday.

Wang Liming and Wang Xiang, former staff members at sub-branches of the China Construction Bank in Zhengzhou, together with jobless Miao Ping, were found to have forged bank bills to illegally obtain cash. And Liang Shihan, a bank clerk used to work at the Hainan branch of the Bank of China, was convicted of accepting massive bribes, said Shen Deyong, vice-president of the Supreme People's Court.

By using forged bank transfer accounts and postal orders, Wang Liming colluded with Miao Ping and several other defendants to swindle 28.4 million yuan (US$3.4 million) of deposits from the sub-branch where Wang worked as an official, Shen said. More than 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million) of the money could not be retrieved.

In another case, Wang Xiang, a staff member at another sub-branch of the China Construction Bank in Zhengzhou, embezzled 40 million yuan (US$4.8 million) of deposits by using false bills, resulting in a loss of more than 20 million yuan, said Shen.

Meanwhile, Liang Shihan, an official with the Zhuhai branch of the Bank of China, was convicted of making 31 letters of credit worth of US$47.27 million for suspect Zhou Qiang, still at large, who later used eight of the letters, causing a loss of US$10.33 million.

In return, Zhou gave Liang 5.79 million yuan (US$698,000) in bribes.

The four criminals were executed yesterday in Zhengzhou and Zhuhai.

Financial crimes are a serious threat to the security, efficiency and stability of the nation's finances, said Shen.

From 2000 to the first half of this year, Chinese courts at all levels tried 20,352 cases of violating financial administrative orders and punished 27,915 offenders, Shen revealed.

The courts also dealt with 7,264 financial fraud cases and sentenced 7,586 people, among whom 4,244 were prison terms of five years or longer imprisonment or the death penalty.

The rate of exposed financial crimes has remained high in recent years, said Shen.

Statistics indicated that the courts concluded 1,675 cases in 2002 and 1,588 financial cases last year. A total of 556 cases were dealt with during the first half of this year.

Analyzing these financial cases, Shen said the sum of the fraudulent money is growing along with the number of people affected, something which could cause social instability.

Some of the suspects are using high-technology in their crimes, making investigations more difficult, he noted.

The number of international or cross-regional crimes is also on the rise, especially those involving letters of credit, he said. Suspects at home and abroad always colluded to transfer the money to foreign countries after they committed fraud.

Apart from the efforts by the courts, financial institutions are also being urged to enhance their awareness and adopt more measures to prevent and fight against financial crimes, said Yang Wanming, another justice with the Supreme People's Court.

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