Nooks and crannies where dirty cadres stash the cash

Fish ponds, cesspits and paddy fields are among the places officials have secreted their ill-gotten gains, according to a mainland media report

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 January, 2014, 6:10pm
UPDATED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 2:31pm

Gold jewellery stuffed into a fish, deposit slips hidden inside a belt, piles of cash stashed under gas pipes - when it comes to hiding money, corrupt mainland officials are nothing if not creative.

The Beijing News has compiled a list of crooked officials and illustrated it with examples of where they tried to hide their ill-gotten gains.

Among them was the former chief of police in Chongqing, Wen Qiang, who was said to have hidden 20 million yuan (HK$25.4 million) by burying it under a fish pond.

The stash was the biggest haul allegedly found in an anti-corruption crackdown carried out by Wen's successor Wang Lijun and his boss, the disgraced former party chief of the metropolis, Bo Xilai , and the seizure was often used to justify their campaign against criminal gangs. Bo and Wang were both later jailed for graft and abuse of power.

Hu Fangyu, the former vice-chairman of the political advisory body in Changshun county, Guizhou province, liked to keep the evidence of his corruption a little closer.

The People's Daily reported that Hu's trousers were taken from his room one night while he was asleep and the cash in his pockets removed. Two students later found his clothing and gave the trousers to police. Inside the belt, they found deposit receipts in Hu's name totalling 420,800 yuan. Hu was jailed for 11 years.

The former director of construction in Jiangsu province, Xu Qiyao, wrapped 4 million yuan in plastic and hid the cash in the hollow of a tree, a cesspool and a rice paddy, among other places.

Ma Junfei , a senior official at the Hohhot railway bureau in Inner Mongolia, who was given a suspended death sentence for accepting more than 130 million yuan in bribes, appears to have had more trouble hiding his money.

Investigators found 80 million yuan and other cash including HK$270,000 in notes in two of his apartments, along with 43 kilograms of gold, according to mainland media reports.

An unnamed source told the China Business News that Ma had filled his homes in Hohhot and Beijing with cash and gold. "Actually, if this person had taken the time to study past officials' hiding places, he could have avoided such headaches," The Beijing News article said.