Convicted ex-policeman's stash of freshly minted millions seized in Sichuan

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 1:07pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 February, 2014, 1:10pm

Police have seized 11 million yuan (HK$13.9 million) in banknotes from the home and office of an ex-senior policeman who has recently been convicted of bribery, The Beijing News reported on Thursday.

It was noted that the serial numbers of the yuan bills found in Li Rongbiao’s house were in consecutive numerical order, which can be obtained either directly from a bank and mint or from an ATM machine loaded with fresh bills.

Six million yuan was found in his home, while the rest was found in his office.

Li, who turns 49 this year, was investigated for corruption last August and was found guilty of taking bribes worth more than 31 million yuan.

Li had served as deputy chief of the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Bureau’s Security Administration Corps since 2010, but it was his dealings as the vice-chairman of an explosives engineering non-profit association that landed him in trouble.

Among its functions, the non-profit – which was engaged in the research, development and management of explosives engineering – gave training courses on blasting technology, particularly to businessmen.

Under the guise of collecting membership fees for those training courses, Li pocketed millions.

A member of the non-profit told police that contributions to the organisation varied according to the size of the client’s company or the business owner’s position, with annual payments ranging from 3,000 yuan to 55,000 yuan.

Press releases between May 2011 and July last year showed that the association organised two rounds of 12 blasting technology training courses involving some 2,000 people.

The discovery of the banknotes came after Li was found guilty. Despite the bribery conviction, a police officer said Li expressed contrition.

“Apparently, Li admitted to more than 30 million in bribes on his own accord,” an unnamed police officer was quoted in the report as saying. “He told investigators, after giving back the money, [that] he wants to continue being a civil servant.”