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March 10, 2010

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Putuo ex-official: I took bribes

THE former office director of the Putuo District government, who served as a go-between for privately owned companies and disgraced former Putuo District Director Cai Zhiqiang, pleaded guilty yesterday to accepting 700,000 yuan (US$102,489) and US$3,000 in bribes.

Yin Kunneng, a 55-year-old Anhui Province native, told the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court that he would bear the punishment of the law.

Prosecutors alleged Yin took advantage of his government positions to help private company owners gain profits from 2005 to 2009. Prosecutors suggested a minimum sentence of 10 years.

His lawyer asked the court to give a sentence below 10 years because Yin confessed everything during investigation and returned all the bribes.

The court didn't hand down a decision after the hearing.

Prosecutors said that the company owners organized gambling parties and dinner appointments for Cai and Yin and presented them with cash in the name of "activity fees."

"I know they wanted to keep good relationships with us. They thought I was a trusted subordinate of the district director and I failed to resist the temptation," Yin told the court at the hearing.

Of the four bribes related to Yin accused by prosecutors, three have been mentioned in the court hearing of Cai's corruption case. Cai was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison for bribery.

Yin introduced Wang Yuexiang, owner of Shanghai Hongquan Group Co Ltd, to Cai in 2005.

He helped Hongquan get tax rebates in a construction project and approval to set up Putuo Baoxiang Small Loans, a pilot company that enjoyed favorable government policies.

In return, Yin received 560,000 yuan from Wang, the court heard.

After Cai was investigated, Yin returned 500,000 yuan to Wang, trying to hide the bribe, and told disciplinary inspectors it was a loan. Later he admitted he had accepted the bribe, the court heard.

Two other alleged bribes totaling 130,000 yuan involving both Cai and Yin were about property certificates for booths of a department store building and a library construction project.

In addition, Yin helped Zhang Minghai, owner of Shanghai Longjin Enterprise Development Co Ltd, rent the man-made small island in the Huxi Workers' Cultural Hall in July 2006. Yin got 10,000 yuan and US$3,000 from Zhang, prosecutors said.


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