MAC: Mines and Communities

Bribery Charges Hit Governor In Mining County

Published by MAC on 2007-02-09
Source: Shanghai Daily

Bribery Charges Hit Governor in Mining County

By Zhang Liuhao, Shanghai Daily

9th February 2007

A FORMER chief of a poor mining county in north China is facing charges for embezzling, misappropriating and taking bribes totaling more than nine million yuan (US$1.12 million), including 2.45 million yuan in social security funds.

Cui Baohong, former chief of Shunhe County, Shanxi Province, went on trial on December 18 for corruption, according to a report of the Procuratorial Daily yesterday, a newspaper run by the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Cui's misconduct surfaced in August 2005 when an anonymous report was sent to county prosecutors, saying the social security fund appropriated to a local coal mine had been drained.

Prosecutors found Cui, then the county chief, embezzled 2.45 million yuan from social security funds, appropriated to two coal mining companies in the county, the newspaper report said.

After the embezzlement, Cui was transferred to Qixian County as its chief.

In September 2005, Cui was placed in custody during an investigation by the local Party discipline inspection authority, the newspaper said.

With a deepening probe, more wrongdoings committed by Cui were uncovered.

He allegedly took advantage of his post, when he was the Shunhe County chief, to take more than three million yuan in bribes, of which more than two million yuan were offered by local coal mine owners.

In 2004, Shanxi provincial government launched a campaign to clean up the province's coal mining industry, in which collieries with an annual output lower than 90,000 tons were required to shut down due to safety concerns.

To survive the campaign, many bosses of small coal mines gave money to Cui, asking for an exemption.

Investigators found a coal mine in the county, whose annual capacity was only 50,000 tons, didn't close until Cui left the county, as the mine owner offered 500,000 yuan to Cui.

Also, prosecutors found the director of the county's coal management bureau gave 35,000 yuan to Cui in the Spring Festival of 2002, 2004 and 2005, asking Cui to increase the budget for the bureau. The director of the local construction bureau was also found to offer bribes several times for the same reason.
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