The former head of China Huarong Asset Management, Lai Xiaomin, has been sentenced to death by a court in the country after he was found guilty of bribery while he in office.
Xiaomin sentence is seen as a rare use of capital punishment in a long-running crackdown by Beijing on corruption.
The ex-bank chief was found guilty of taking or seeking bribes totaling nearly 1.8 billion yuan ($277 million), a court in the port city of Tianjin said on Wednesday while handing down the sentence.
Xiaomin, who was regarded as China’s most corrupt financial official, was investigated in 2018 over his time as the chairman of the banking giant and he was found him guilty of accepting $277 million in bribes between 2008 and 2018.
The convicted banker had confessed to taking bribes in January after he claimed that the money was kept in an apartment but “didn’t spend a cent.”
The court will confiscate all of Xiaomin’s personal assets including properties, luxury watches and flashy cars.
The death sentence slammed on the banker was part of an anti-corruption crusade led by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, who has been in power since 2012.
The Chinese government created the Huarong Asset Management shortly after the 1997 Asian financial crisis as one of a handful of firms meant to handle mounting bad debt at state-run banks.
Xiaomin became president of the company in 2009 and later became its chairman. His tenure was characterized by a period of rapid expansion. Huarong not only manages assets but also is involved in lending and other forms of equity investment. It raised 17.8 billion Hong Kong dollars ($2.3 billion) from an IPO in Hong Kong in 2015.
Join the conversation
SPECIAL REPORT: Displaced residents of Zamfara battle hunger, as underfunding derails Nigeria’s nutrition goals
On paper, Muhammad Zayyanu is seven years old. The quiet boy who looks shorter for his age could not recollect...
INVESTIGATION: N7.3bn paid for unnamed projects; how Nigerian govt spent N2.2trn in six months
Analysing nearly 3,000 payments made by various Federal Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) over the previous six months (January...
INVESTIGATION… Delay rocks Nigerian govt’s promise of N30,000 covid-19 relief for artisans, others
Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in February, 2020, Chukwudi Okoroigwe’s daily earnings as a bus driver was hardly enough to cater to the...
INVESTIGATION… Ten years after, communities count losses as AfDB, Cross River govt abandon road project
Ten years after the Cross River State government and African Development Bank (AFDB) jointly awarded the Yahe-Wanokom-Wanikade-Benue border road for...
INVESTIGATION….N.3bn down the drain: Why water projects for Enugu communities don’t work
In this concluding part, ARINZE CHIJIOKE talks about some of the projects that are serving the people and how various WASH programmes have failed to tackle...