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Jin Daoming Case Opens Corruption Wormhole

06-03 00:00 《财经》杂志 《财经》杂志

  By staff reporter Zhang Lu

  On May 20, 2011, Xue Guojun, the finance department chief of Yuncheng-based Shanxi Shuguang Coking Group Co. (Shuguang Group), was found dead atop the parking garage of a residential area. The timing of Xue’s apparent suicide raised suspicions.

  At that time, then Yuncheng Finance Bureau chief Sun Taiping and a number of local officials that reportedly held dry shares in Shuguang Group's Chuanwo coal mine were being investigated by the local discipline inspection department. Shuguang Group’s finance department was an important link in the investigation.

  Reports showed that Xue’s body fell from a window above the fifth floor of a dormitory stairwell. There were deep marks on his neck and wrist and significant scars on his back. Later, the police ruled Xue’s death a suicide and refused to issue an autopsy report to his family.

  “Guojun knew too much,” Xue Wangming, Xue Guojun’s father, told Caijing. Before his death, Xue had been relieved of his duties and subject to intimidation. "He was afraid. I advised him to go the police or run, but he said ‘it doesn’t matter, if I go to the police I’m dead anyway’."

  In June 2002, Shanxi Yuncheng Coal Transportation Group, Inc. (Yuncheng Coal) Qingjian shipping station chief He Yuejin registered and established Shuguang Group, a private company, while retaining his official capacity. Backed by shipping stations under Yuncheng Coal, upon its establishment Shuguang Group already had access to numerous transport resources highly coveted by private companies. With these resources in place, Shuguang Group started looking into mines.

  On July 19, 2003, assets of the Chuanwo mine and Yuncheng Coking Plant, which at the time were tied up in restructuring, were sold directly to Shuguang Group without bidding. Ma Ronghua, chairman of Shanxi Hejin Huafeng Industry Co., Ltd., said his company was forced to withdraw from the bidding after being coerced by an official leading the restructuring group. Finally, Mr. He obtained 70 million tons of the Chuanwo mine’s recoverable reserves.

  In 2008, former Shanxi reporter Gao Qinrong published an online report stating that Sun Taiping held shares in the Chuanwo mine and used his power as Finance Bureau chief to apply for reimbursement of huge sums of money.

  On Aug. 10, 2009, several Yuncheng Disciplinary Committee cadres visited Shuguang Group’s finance office to retrieve relevant financial documents. When one investigator found evidence of payment transactions from Sun Taiping’s son Sun Hongjun, then financial department director Gao Wenjun seized and burned the evidence. Xue Guojun was among the financial department officers at the scene.

  In late 2010, Xue Guojun felt something was wrong. Xue told his father he was secretly keeping the company books at home. In Dec. 2010, after a Shuguang Group employee recovered the books from his home, Xue was followed, threatened, and monitored. He tried to resign twice, but his resignation was denied.

  The corruption investigation came to a halt after Xue’s death. Sun Taiping’s only punishment was a serious warning from the Party for a minor disciplinary issue.

  A source close to the Yuncheng Commission for Discipline Inspection told Caijing that at the time the Yuncheng discipline inspection commission wanted to subject Sun Taiping to shuanggui, a form of administrative detention used on Party members, but could not do so because of an order from a provincial-level authority.

  A source close to the matter stated the order came from former Shanxi Provincial Party committee deputy chairman Jin Daoming. But after Jin himself was put under investigation in February this year, investigators are once again gazing down into the wormhole of corruption in Shanxi.

  Full article in Chinese:http://magazine.caijing.com.cn/2014-06-02/114229474.html

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