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Education director confesses to bribery

A FORMER education bureau director in Zhabei District asked for clemency in court yesterday after confessing to taking bribes, Shanghai Morning Post reported today.

Huang Mengyuan, 61, admitted accepting two bribes worth 535,000 yuan (US$78,216) in the two years just before his retirement.

In 2005 he accepted 500,000 yuan from the manager of a real estate company surnamed Zhuang, who asked Huang for help in transferring a plot of land in Baoshan Road in the district.

The real estate company had bought the land from East China Normal University for 68 million yuan in May 2003 for a commercial development, but found the land was zoned for educational purposes only. Returning the land to the university would mean a loss for the company. Zhuang got to know Huang, who was looking for a location for a professional school and the two arranged the transfer of the land to the district education bureau for 75 million yuan - the real estate company made a 7 million yuan profit.

Huang helped his friend Lin Wenxing keep his position after retirement as the manager of a company under the Zhabei District education authority in charge of purchasing school uniforms and text books. Lin paid 35,000 yuan for a set of rosewood furniture for Huang's new house.

Huang asked his family to return the bribes to anti-corruption authorities after he was summoned for questioning in March. The Zhabei District Education Bureau wrote asking the court to take into account that Huang had made a large contribution to education in the district.

The court will announce its verdict later.


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