Criminal past no obstacle for official
A transport official in Yuncheng, Shanxi, reinvented almost his entire personal history and erased his criminal record with the help of his father, the city's deputy party chief, before joining the civil service.
The real identity of Tong Xiao, a former deputy division head of Yuncheng's transport bureau, was exposed when he was arrested last year, the People's Court Daily reported. It failed to give the father's name.
The city's Intermediate People's Court gave Tong, 38, a suspended death sentence on Monday for organising gangs, murder, possessing and trading guns, drug taking, rape, gambling and other serious charges.
The report said 79 people were involved in Tong's crimes, with 41 being government officials in Yuncheng. Eight received prison sentences ranging from one year and five month to 12 years.
A suspended death penalty on the mainland usually becomes life imprisonment, which in turn can be reduced for good behaviour, but the court said Tong's sentence should not be reduced, the newspaper said.
Tong was also charged with accepting nearly 22 million yuan in bribes from 2005 to last year when he was in charge of the transport bureau's traffic management and driving school sections, Xinhua said.
It said Tong became an armed robber when he was 16. He was arrested by police three years later and sentenced to 10 years' jail in 1995 for assault. That sentence was cut to eight years in 1997, but he was released on parole a year later.
Tong joined the People's Liberation Army when he was 14 after his father provided him with a fake birth certificate, Xinhua said. The son escaped from the army one year later and his father fabricated an army retirement document to cover that up.
When Tong was released from jail in 1997, his father helped him cover up his criminal history and also fabricated a higher education self-study diploma so he could join the Communist Party and become a mid-ranking official in the city's transport bureau, Xinhua said.
Tong had been a 'well-known rogue' in Yuncheng since he was 16, but most of his job assessments as a civil servant said he was 'good' and even 'outstanding', it reported.
Xinhua said one person who recommended Tong for party membership said Tong's colleagues were aware of his crimes but chose to connive with him because of his background.
The amount in bribes Tong Xiao took over a five-year period when he was in charge of traffic management at a transport bureau