China to hunt down serial bribers

China keeps up the fight against graft after many high level officials are charged with taking bribes

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Chinese authorities will hunt down individuals and organisations which engage in serial bribery, especially in cases which cause serious public anger or accidents, state media said on Wednesday.

After the government began a campaign against deep-rooted graft and corruption, thousands of people have been investigated in 2015, including 907 officials at county-level or above.

The country's top prosecutor will focus on "enormous, long-term and serial" bribery as part of a new campaign it is leading, the official Xinhua news agency said.

Another focus will be to go after corrupt officials accused of bribery who have fled abroad, Xinhua said.

Chinese prosecutors investigated a total of 9,636 people suspected of corruption in the first quarter of 2015, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said in a report.

The suspects, including 907 officials at county-level or above, were involved in 7,556 cases, of which some 88 percent involved amounts of over 50,000 yuan (about 8,000 US dollars) or embezzlement of public funds amounting to 100,000 yuan or more.

A total of 61 fugitive corruption suspects were extradited to China from overseas by the end of March, Xinhua also reported.

China's top prosecutor recently announced that he is investigating a senior doctor in the country's western Yunnan province for taking over $18 million worth of bribes in cash, real estate and parking spots.

Wang Tianchao, the head of Yunnan's No. 1 People's Hospital, used his position to seek bribes related to construction projects, medical device procurement and job roles, the English-language newspaper China Daily reported on Tuesday.

The Supreme People's Procuratorate said Wang had received 35 million yuan ($5.64 million) in cash, 100 properties worth around 13 million dollars and coveted car parking spaces.

Beijing has also been cracking down on corruption in the healthcare sector, fining British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC nearly 500 million dollars last year for bribing doctors to boost sales of its drugs.

TRTWorld and agencies