Five Sichuan officials have been jailed for corruption after they were found to have pocketed 259,000 yuan (HK$243,460) from the local coffers. The officials - from Gongxing township in Shuangliu county - were convicted recently in Chengdu Intermediate Court, the Procurators' Daily reported yesterday without specifying the length of the jail terms. The officials, including former Gongxing Communist Party secretary Chen Xinghua, were found to have submitted false accounting claims. The report expressed alarm at how the five made use of the controversial trading of tax revenue quotas among townships. The report said the officials falsified the amount they paid to the tax departments. Instead of paying 15 per cent of their tax revenue quota to the department as a fee, the five raised the amount to 20 per cent and pocketed the difference. The report said it was common for tax departments to assign different revenue quotas to various regions depending on their level of economic development. Areas that exceed targets are often issued bonuses. In order to meet their targets, officials in poor areas can pay fees to tax departments to trade their quotas with areas that do not have problems meeting their tax obligations. The Procurators' Daily said this practice had bred corruption and harmed the government's tax collection efforts. It warned that corruption in townships and villages could become rampant if the practice was allowed to continue.