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Auditor recoups US$3.9b frauds

CHINA'S chief auditor Liu Jiayi yesterday said funds embezzled from public finances of more than 26.77 billion yuan (US$3.9 billion), revealed in last year's audits, had been recovered or returned to former funding channels.

The head of China's National Audit Office, made the statement in a report submitted to the ninth session of the Standing Committee of the 11th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.

He said audits of 55 central departments last year had exposed illegal allocations of funds totaling 4.05 billion yuan, or 3.5 percent of total funds audited, and loss and waste of funds totaling 467 million yuan, or 0.4 percent.

Thirty people involved in 116 cases handled by discipline inspection and judicial organizations had been arrested, indicted and sentenced according to the law, he said. Another 117 people were punished according to administrative rules and Communist Party of China disciplines.

"Most of the cases concern embezzlement or transfer of state assets to attain illegal profits," Liu said, adding that dereliction of duty, illegal decision-making, collusion to embezzle state assets, cheating loans or manipulating stocks using insider information or expertise, were among means to attain the profit.

Audits of central departments last year show that management of some departments' conference and official trip expenses "is not strict enough" and some units have problems of extravagance, waste, false reporting of expenses and cheating.

"Some officials increase the number of personnel, change the route or prolong a stopover duration of official trips abroad without permission," said the report.

Liu said the audit office had investigated the use of funds for conferences and official trips in 24 central departments, which showed that relevant expenditures had dropped greatly thanks to the strict implementation of the frugality principle and enhanced management of overseas trips.

The report said the departments' conferences expenses were 217 million yuan last year, down 17.8 percent; overseas trips cost 191 million yuan, down 17.9 percent.

It also said taxation authorities were working to improve the country's consumption tax system as some enterprises tried to lower factory prices so as to spend less on consumption taxes.

Auditors also found illegal lending by banks. Some branches of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction bank, CITIC Group, the Bank of China, the Bank of Communications and China Merchants Bank had illegally lent 21.5 billion yuan in land reserve loans, fake mortgage loans and loans to substandard real estate companies.


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