Chinese official uses US$58 million of state funds to help bank clerk daughter bag US$232,000 bonus

  • Head of land buying department in east China city said he was unaware he was breaking any rules
  • Daughter had been under pressure to attract new deposits
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 December, 2018, 4:22pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 December, 2018, 10:47pm

A government official from east China who helped his daughter to secure a 1.6 million yuan (US$232,000) bonus by depositing 400 million yuan of public funds in the bank where she worked has been sacked, according to a Communist Party publication.

Chen Wei, a former director of a department responsible for land purchases in the city of Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, came under investigation at the start of 2017 after a whistle-blower reported his activities.

His position meant he had access to large sums of money and after hearing his daughter was under pressure to attract new deposits at the state-owned bank where she worked, Chen set about moving some it to her branch, according to an official publication of the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.

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The transfers took place over a 12 month period starting at the end of 2015, the report said. At that time there were no rules prohibiting officials from depositing funds in banks where their relatives worked, but they were not allowed to use their positions for financial gain.

“There were no regulations on which banks we could use to deposit public funds,” Chen was quoted as saying. “So I took advantage of the supervision loophole to help my daughter.”

After deciding it “wasn’t a big deal” he instructed a member of his team to open an account at his daughter’s branch and started making the deposits.

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Chen continued to defend his position when questioned by investigators, but his argument fell on deaf ears and in June of this year he was given a formal warning and sacked from his government position.

His daughter, who was not named in the report, was ordered to return the bonus she had been paid.

In 2017, China’s banking watchdog rolled out new rules making it illegal for officials in charge of public funds to deposit them at banks where their relatives work.