Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Tip of the Iceberg

Chinese media reports say officials from Guangdong Province have gambled away more than $3 million of public money in recent years.

They tend to go to Macau and play the tables like there's no tomorrow, or take a cruise from Hong Kong that goes to international waters to gamble, or bet on football matches.

The reports say some 50 officials have been investigated, and six jailed or punished.

Wu Xingkui got the heaviest sentence. He's the Chinese Communist Party's number two person in the town of Yunfu.

He got a four-year jail term for embezzling thousands of yuan to finance his gambling habit. According to one newspaper article, he was found guilty of losing 520,000 RMB ($76,000) on soccer bets, 70,000 on mahjong, and thousands on a cruise from Hong Kong in 2004.

Ironically Wu had conducted many campaigns against gambling, pornography and drugs.

Other officials found guilty were either jailed, had their CPC membership revoked, or put on probation in what the central government hopes is a clear warning that corruption is not tolerated.

However, if 50 were investigated and only six jailed so far, there could be many more officials in Guangdong who are frittering away public coffers on their own private joyride.

And if this is only in one province, imagine how much public money is misused in the rest of the country?

1 comment:

ks said...

too bad usually it is the people who know the laws got into trouble with the law.