Chinese coal official accused of hiding $30M at home admits to corruption

BEIJING -- A low-ranking Chinese energy official accused of hiding more than $30 million in cash at home in one of the country's most sensational corruption cases admitted his guilt during a court appearance Tuesday in northern China.

See Full Article

The Baoding City Intermediate People's Court said in a statement that Wei Pengyuan, a former deputy chief of the coal bureau under the National Energy Administration, admitted to taking 211 million yuan ($32.5 million) in bribes and failed to account for another 131 million yuan ($20.2 million) in assets.

Under President Xi Jinping's administration, China's Communist Party has launched a sweeping anti-corruption campaign that has netted both senior and junior cadres. Wei's case highlighted the ability of even middling officials to leverage their position to accumulate enormous wealth.

The value of Wei's ill-gotten gains dwarfed that of his indirect superior Liu Tienan, the former head of the National Energy Administration, a powerful economic planner who ranked far higher than the coal official. Liu was convicted last December of accepting $6 million in bribes and received a life sentence.

Wei's case created a sensation in late 2014 after reports said investigators wore out four of the 16 cash-counting machines they used to tabulate his trove, China's largest-ever cash seizure. All told, Wei kept his wealth in four currencies, several kilograms of gold, three automobiles and in calligraphy and art, the court said Tuesday.

Wei's prosecution comes amid heightened scrutiny of China's influential coal industry and its regulators. A documentary that blamed China's air pollution crisis on lax coal industry oversight was widely viewed online earlier this year and stoked public outrage before it was removed by government censors.

Earlier this year the government revised its estimates of coal use sharply upward, underscoring the challenges China faces in shifting away from the cheap energy source even while Beijing has promised to cap Chinese carbon emissions by 2030.

As a national official overseeing the coal industry, Wei had authority over greenlighting coal projects, drafting policy, and approving scientific reviews and safety regulations.

Wei apologized Tuesday during his court appearance, saying he had let down the Communist Party and his child.

"Getting money did not bring me peace and satisfaction, rather it led me to ever-deeper crimes," he said, according to the court statement.

The court has not issued a verdict.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Asian stocks rise ahead of U.S. interest rate announcement

    Economic CTV News
    BEIJING - Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday following overnight gains on Wall Street as investors looked ahead to a likely U.S. interest rate hike. KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index was unchanged at 3,279.43 while Tokyo's Nikkei 225 lost 0.3 per cent to 22,805.80. Source
  • Air Canada expanding codeshares for 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL - Air Canada (TSX:AC) and Air China Ltd. say they will be expanding their mutual codeshare services in time for the 2018 Canada-China Year of Tourism. Air China will place its code on Air Canada's new daily Montreal-Shanghai flight, as well as Air Canada's flights from Vancouver to Victoria, Kelowna, Saskatoon and Regina. Source
  • Canadian cellular prices declining, mainly for talk and text, report finds

    Economic CBC News
    Prices for cellphone service in Canada came down in the last year, but only if you don't use your cellphone very much. That's one of the major takeaways from a new report looking at telecom services and how they stack up with the rest of the world, and compared to what they used to be. Source
  • TransCanada clashes with pipeline opponents at Nebraska hearing

    Economic CBC News
    Opponents of TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline argued on Tuesday that regulators in Nebraska had no authority to approve the line's "alternative" path through the state and that the project should be considered dead. Source
  • Hydropothecary cannabis expansion plans to put it among top producers in Canada

    Economic CTV News
    GATINEAU, Que. -- Shares of Hydropothecary Corp. were up nearly 18 per cent after the licensed medical cannabis producer announced plans that will see it further grow its operations in Quebec. The company (TSXV:THCX) says it has acquired property adjacent to its existing facility in Gatineau, Que. Source
  • Desjardins, provincial credit unions and Cumis partnering to create Aviso Wealth

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Quebec credit union Desjardins Group is partnering with five credit union centrals across the country and insurer Cumis Group Ltd. to form Aviso Wealth, with over $55 billion in combined client assets. The new wealth management company will bring together the businesses of their subsidiaries, Credential Financial Inc. Source
  • PepsiCo makes biggest public pre-order of Tesla Semis: 100 trucks

    Economic CBC News
    PepsiCo Inc. has reserved 100 of Tesla Inc.'s new electric Semi trucks, the largest known order of the big rig, as the maker of Mountain Dew soda and Doritos chips seeks to reduce fuel costs and fleet emissions, a company executive said on Tuesday. Source
  • MTY Food Group signs deal to buy Imvescor Restaurant Group for $248 million

    Economic CBC News
    MTY Food Group Inc. is growing beyond the shopping mall food court with a $248-million stock-and-cash deal to buy Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. and its full-service restaurant and grocery products businesses. The friendly deal will bring together such MTY banners as Thai Express, Vanellis and Manchu Wok with Imvescor's Baton Rouge, Pizza Delight and Scores restaurants to create a company with a portfolio of over 5,700 stores under 75 brands. Source
  • Iceland closes gender gap but violence against women remains

    Economic CTV News
    REYKJAVIK, Iceland -- For nine years in a row, the World Economic Forum has ranked Iceland as having the world's smallest gender-equality gap, and for about as long gender studies professor Gyda Margret Petursdottir has been asked how the Nordic island nation became such a paradise for women. Source
  • Lyft ride-hailing app arrives in Toronto, marking its first expansion outside U.S.

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ride-hailing service Lyft will be available in Toronto starting today. Torontonians can download the Lyft app to being ordering rides in the city. The company's arrival in Toronto marks the first time it has expanded outside the US. Source