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Extent of firm's fraud is revealed

DOZENS of executives, including the board chairman and deputy general manager, were caught up in the corruption scandal at Yunnan Copper Industry Group, China's third largest copper producer, said the discipline inspection authority of Yunnan Province. The scandal involves more than 2 billion yuan (US$292 million).

Zou Shaolu, Yunnan Copper's chairman and general manager, was found to have accepted bribes worth more than 19 million yuan on 18 occasions from 2003 to 2007, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

Yu Weiping, the company's deputy general manager and vice chairman, took 29 million yuan in bribes on 18 occasions and misused 26.6 million yuan of public funds, said Guo Zhihong, vice secretary of the discipline inspection department of the Communist Party of China's Yunnan committee.

Yu also embezzled 41.25 million yuan, according to Guo.

The Kunming Intermediate People's Court found Zou guilty and sentenced him to life in prison on December 29, while Yu was given the death penalty the same time.

A network of more than 70 executives was involved in the scandal, said the Xinhua report.

Executives from the company were found to take bribes and seek profits for others in the company's daily operation by abusing their duties.

Almost every stage of the company's daily business, including business cooperation, raw material supplying, engineering contracts, transfers of land-use rights, loan payments and job promotion were used for illegal deals.

Wang Jianwei, former general manager of Yunnan Copper's real estate arm, took 4.46 million yuan and US$14,000 in bribes on 16 occasions and sought illegal profits for others in planning, contracting, engineering, payment allocation, financial support and loan payment. He also embezzled 1 million yuan of public funds.

Chen Shaofei, the company's vice general manager and accountant, misused 760 million yuan from Yunnan Copper to purchase the company's stock via issuing a commercial bill to a trade firm he set up with a businessman. The deal brought him and his collaborators 1.2 billion yuan of illegal profit.


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