Governor of China's Fujian province under investigation by anti-corruption watchdog

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 October, 2015, 11:55pm
UPDATED : Friday, 09 October, 2015, 3:01am

Fujian governor Su Shulin, once a rising star in China’s graft-ridden oil sector, is under investigation for corruption reportedly related to his tenure as the head of a state-owned oil giant, according to separate sources and reports.

Su’s downfall, announced late on Wednesday night, was related to problems uncovered by the Central Commission of Discipline Inspection, the Communist Party’s internal graft watchdog, during their inspection of Sinopec in November, a source close to CCDI told the Post. The mainland’s Caxin financial media group also carried a report, citing several sources.

Su was the general manager of Sinopec, China’s largest oil refiner, from 2007 to 2011 before becoming a top Fujian official.

CCDI inspectors found Su, 53, had helped a relative’s company secure Sinopec’s oil depot project in the Yangpu Economic Development Zone in Hainan province, Caixin said.

Sinopec had also paid for Su’s wife’s shopping trips to Hong Kong, inspectors found.

Su’s career spans more than two decades in the oil sector, among the hardest hit by the anti-corruption campaign launched by President Xi Jinping almost three years ago.

The campaign had brought down a slew of senior oil industry executives, many of them linked to disgraced former security tsar Zhou Yongkang, himself a veteran of three decades in the sector. State-run media have referred to the officials as the “oil gang”.

Su began as a geologist in the northeastern Daqing oil patch, China’s largest oilfield, and worked his way up to vice-general manager of energy giant China National Petroleum Corporation in 2002.

His time at CNPC overlapped that of Jiang Jiemin, another disgraced former top executive at the company who was named director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission in March, 2013. Jiang appeared in a Hubei court on bribery charges in April. A decision in that case is still pending.

After four years at CNPC, Su did a brief sting in northeastern Liaoning province’s provincial party standing committee before being appointed to Sinopec to replace his predecessor, Chen Tonghai, who was removed for graft in 2007.

The announcement of Su’s probe came 11 days after top graft buster Wang Qishan visited the province without his company. Wang visited Fujian on October 24-26, but official media reports of Wang’s trip did not mention Su.

 Su last appeared in public on September 29, when he visited typhoon-hit Fuzhou.