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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

China executes bank official for taking bribes, embezzling money
Gabriel Haboubi at 2:00 PM ET

[JURIST] A Chinese bank official convicted of corruption was executed [Peoples Daily report] Tuesday for taking bribes and embezzling the equivalent of almost $2 million USD. Wen Mengie, the former IT head of the Beijing branch of the Agricultural Bank of China [corporate website], bought three houses in Beijing with money received during bank purchases of ATM machines and computer software. He originally argued that the money had been a gift from the suppliers, but the suppliers testified that he had demanded the money as a bribe. Investigators were tipped off when Wen went to a bank wearing dark glasses and using a fake name, seeking to pay off mortgage loans using bags of money.

The Agricultural Bank of China has been financially struggling due to employee corruption. Last year, the bank fired 64 people and disciplined 1300 more after investigators found financial discrepancies equivalent to nearly $7 billion USD. China [JURIST news archive] has been cracking down on corruption [JURIST news archive] using capital punishment. In July, the former commissioner of China's State Food and Drug Administration [official website, in Chinese] was executed for accepting $850,000 in bribes [JURIST report]. In August, Chinese Communist Party discipline commission spokesman Gan Yisheng said that China's use of capital punishment in political and economic corruption cases is appropriate and effective [JURIST report]. Gan justified the punishment saying that it had "been endorsed by the Chinese people and also recognized by the international community." AFP has more.

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