CORRUPTION

Railway official gets suspended death sentence for taking 70 million yuan of bribes

Former Hohhot railway bureau chief arranged for trains to take businessmen’s goods in exchange for profits, including 200,000 euros worth of bills wrapped in cigarettes

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 June, 2014, 12:53pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 June, 2014, 5:59pm

Lin Fenqiang, the former chief of Inner Mongolia’s Hohhot Railway Bureau, has been given a suspended death sentence with a two-year reprieve.

Lin, 54, and his family members took more than 70 million yuan (HK$87 million) worth of bribes in the form of various currencies, gold and luxury watches, China Business News reported.

Lin, from Fuzhou in Fujian province, was a subordinate of disgraced railway minister Liu Zhijun, who was also dealt a suspended death sentence with a two-year reprieve last July. His former deputy chief Ma Junfei also received the same sentence in January for taking more than 100 million yuan of bribes.

Lin, who was a deputy of the 11th National People’s Congress, had arranged for cargo trains to carry goods for Shanxi businesswoman Ding Shumiao since 2007, the paper reported. He earned millions of yuan from the business with Ding, who was also a major contributor to Liu’s bribes.

Major coal mines in Ordos city make cargo trains a competitive resource in Inner Mongolia. Many coal mine operators offer bribes to gain an edge over their competitors for trains to deliver their commodity to other places.

Lin would provide businessmen with trains in exchange for bribes. His family, especially his brother Lin Dayan, also rented cargo and operated railway projects for personal profit between 2008 and 2011, China Business News reported.

Lin accepted bribes from a long list of coal power plants and enterprises, the paper said.

One Inner Mongolia coal enterprise gave him 2.04 million yuan in six payments between August 2010 and May 2011. His brother made it a personal rule to earn at least 80,000 yuan for each cargo trip.

A Shaanxi company paid Lin and others a total of 26 million yuan between 2009 and 2011. A Hohhot coal distribution company gave him 200,000 euros (HK$2.1 million) by wrapping 400 500-euro bills in cigarettes. They later paid him another 200,000 euros.

The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said Lin also confessed to bribes he had accepted that were previously not known to the justice department, and was therefore granted a two-year reprieve for his death sentence. He has decided not to appeal the sentence.