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Yangzhou officials in major corruption case

THREE finance officials with Jiangsu Province's Yangzhou City government went on trial yesterday for embezzling over 200 million yuan (US$29.27 million).

The case led to the crackdown of a scheme involving 8.5 billion yuan in illegal foreign exchange trading.

Wang Yong, the former financial department director of Yangzhou's transport bureau, and his two deputies, Chen Qingchi and Wu Chunqiu, appeared at the Yangzhou City Intermediate People's Court, today's Procurator Daily reported.

Wang Yong's wife Xiao Wei, a local bank clerk, Wang Guangtian, the president of Jiangsu Youshi Industrial Co Ltd, and Yang Zhaoliang, the director of Danyang Tongda Quarry Plant, also appeared as defendants.

It took prosecutors one and a half hours to read the 24-page indictment involving 45 counts of corruption, the report said.

The court was told that Wang Yong and Wu embezzled more than 220 million yuan in public money from road construction companies under their administration for personal use from November 1997 to February 2008.

Chen asked Yang Fei, president of the Renyang Group, and Zhou Jian, manager of the group's transport unit, to embezzle 500,000 yuan to fund his investment in a Danyang quarry plant in 2003.

The officials were also charged with making 5.8 million yuan in graft and taking 2.1 million yuan in bribes.

The court did not announce a verdict yesterday.

Prosecutors arrested Wang and his wife in Canada on February 21, 2008 after receiving information, according to the Procurator Daily report.

While investigating a luxury villa the couple had bought in Canada with embezzled money, prosecutors found they had forwarded the money through an illegal foreign exchange dealer, and this led to the discovery of the illegal foreign exchange trading scheme.

The man involved, He Jiacai, was arrested in October last year.

He allegedly made 11 million yuan over five years for more than 4,000 clients.

Prosecutors charged He on May 10, the Procurator Daily report said.


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