Chinese official sells state coal mine to in-law, media say

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 2:03pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 October, 2012, 2:03pm

A Shanxi official reportedly sold to his brother-in-law a state-owned coal mine worth 200 million yuan (HK$2.5 million) for only 375,000 yuan, Xinhua reported on Wednesday.

Li Xinsheng in 2007 oversaw a transaction in which a local commerce bureau sold state-owned coal mine in Baode county, Shanxi province, to three buyers. One of the buyers turned out to be Li’s brother-in-law.

After two years, the coal mine was resold for 260 million yuan.

Li, former head of coal mine administration bureau, denied that he supervised the transaction, Xinhua says, saying he had already left the position when the privatisation took place. 

Xinhua also reported that mine workers said Zhang Huaibao, a major shareholder of the mine between 2007 and 2009, forced them to withdraw shares prior to 2009, a move suspected of clearing the way for him to resell the mine. 

Shen Da Energy, the current owner of the coal mine, said it is now worth more than 3 billion yuan, Xinhua reports.  

Baode county is in Shanxi, a northeastern province well-known for its rich coal resources that account for 25 per cent of the annual coal production in China.