Eight officials under investigation for graft

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 May, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 21 May, 2010, 12:00am

Eight officials in Maoming, Guangdong, including four former and current vice-mayors, have been put under investigation or punished after a road project was delayed for more than 13 years by financial mismanagement.

Yang Guangliang, head of Dianbai county in the mid-1990s, recommended to Shao Hongli, the boss of a private enterprise, that he invest in the rebuilding of a section of Route 281 between Nahuo and Qijing, according to the provincial anti-graft watchdog.

It said Yang's deputy, Liang Chao, and Liao Zhaoding, then deputy director of Maoming's roads bureau, were asked to help Shao seek out other business opportunities and sign a contract with Shao's company. But they failed to check the company's background and knew almost nothing about the contract they signed.

Shao's company, Qina, had not put any money into the project since then, the watchdog said.

In 1999, the Dianbai county government rescinded the contract but Maoming's deputy mayor at the time, Wu Shouyan, who was in charge of road construction work, rejected Dianbai's suggestion that alternative construction companies be found and instead ordered officials to keep co-operating with Shao.

From 2000 to last year, Wu and some other senior Maoming officials, including two vice-mayoral successors responsible for road construction and transport, a director of the city's road construction bureau and a director of its transport bureau, helped Qina keep the contract, even though the construction project promised by the company never started.