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Anti-graft prosecutors probe 400 in city

SHANGHAI has seen 400 people from government bodies and state-owned companies investigated for corruption last year, 6.1 percent more suspects than in 2011, amid more vigorous efforts to keep graft from undermining government, city prosecutors said yesterday.

The 400 people, including officials working for local government bodies and employees working for state-owned companies, were involved in 334 embezzlement and bribery cases. The number of such cases increased by nearly 10 percent from 2011.

The increase was mainly due to a crackdown by the Shanghai People's Procuratorate, which urged authorities across the city to strike hard against government corruption.

Last year, 43 people were investigated in 38 cases of breach of public duty. The number of those suspects was up 19.4 percent from 2011, according to officials.

To combat corruption, the city procuratorate organized anti-graft prevention teams to supervise and intervene in major projects with government investments like the Shanghai Disneyland project in the Pudong New Area. A special record system has been put into use to flag people involved in bribery cases, whether to not they were prosecuted, to help monitor government purchases and construction project bidding.

Shanghai will set up 22 more procuratorial branch offices in local communities to supervise grassroots law enforcement bodies, receive anti-graft tips and monitor criminals allowed to serve sentences outside prison under surveillance. There are 31 procuratorial offices across the city, covering 86 neighborhoods and 117 police stations.

By setting up the branches, local prosecutors said they will be able to get closer to the public and take measures to prevent corruption. The offices will be expanded to cover all neighborhoods and police stations by 2015.

For all crimes, 27,069 suspects were arrested and 40,345 suspects were charged by local prosecutors last year, up 21.5 percent and 33.7 percent, respectively, from 2011.

Among them, 2,644 were arrested for and 8,702 were charged with disturbing market order and other financial fraud crimes. Nearly 350 suspects were arrested and 977 were charged in cases of infringement of intellectual property rights.

City prosecutors also charged Li Weixing, a real estate entrepreneur accused of accepting 1.3 billion yuan in illegal deposits from 3,300 people who invested in his projects in Shanghai.

Chen Xu, the city's chief prosecutor, said the procuratorate will launch a two-year crackdown to investigate and prevent breach of duty crimes by government-linked officials that damaged public welfare.


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