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Sat, Nov 04, 2006 - Page 10 News List

Chinese bank chairman jailed for corruption

AFP , BEIJING

The former chairman of China Construction Bank (中國建設銀行), Zhang Enzhao (張恩照), received a 15-year jail term yesterday for corruption, state media said.

Zhang was sentenced at the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court, Xinhua news agency reported. It gave no further details.

According to a report on the Web site of Caijing magazine, Zhang was convicted of receiving bribes totaling 4.2 million yuan (US$530,000).

A separate media report last week said Zhang had confessed during his graft trial to receiving cash, watches and property totaling that amount, a report said yesterday.

But his lawyer said the property was given by "old friends" and could not be considered graft, the report said.

Other reports said Zhang allegedly also received a US$1 million "commission" from a US company for selling its software to the bank.

Two credit officers from the bank's Hainan branch were also sentenced to one year's imprisonment for dereliction of duty, Xinhua reported.

Their failure to properly assess the credit worthiness for some residential mortgages cost the lender 2.78 million yuan in losses, the agency said.

Separately, China's top banking regulator said 67 cases of bank fraud were uncovered from January to September, a decrease of almost one-third from 97 in the same period a year earlier, state media reported yesterday.

Cases involving more than 1 million yuan dropped to 37 from 63 last year, the Shanghai Securities quoted Liu Mingkang (劉明康), the chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, as saying.

The figures appeared to be seriously at odds with other statistics reported recently by the state media.

On Wednesday, the China Daily newspaper said a total of 461 cases of bank fraud involving more than 1 million yuan each were discovered last year.

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