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Land administrator guilty of 10.4m yuan in bribes

Tao Xiaoxing, a former Shanghai official in charge of land-use approvals, pleaded guilty to taking 10.45 million yuan (US$1.59 million) in bribes at a court hearing this morning.

The bribes included 3.29 million yuan, US$30,000 and HK$500,000 (US$64,200) in cash and a shop premises valued at 6.38 million yuan, the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court heard.

Prosecutors charged that Tao, 60, former deputy director of the Shanghai Housing, Land and Resources Bureau, took advantage of his position to speed up approvals of land-use applications submitted by seven real estate developers over the past decade.

Tao gave up self-defense at the hearing and didn't hire a lawyer. He said he had confessed all his crimes and asked for leniency from the court.

He told the prosecutors earlier that he used to take comfort in the thought that it was okay to accept gifts from the developers as long as they qualified for his approval.

The prosecutors pointed out that these developers had won profits of up to hundreds of millions of yuan because of Tao's care and speedy approval.

A middle-aged woman lost control of herself as soon as Tao was escorted into the court. Unable to control her sobs, the woman was asked to leave the courtroom before the hearing started.

The court didn't hand down the verdict after the hearing.


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