Corruption in China: former top banker Lai Xiaomin executed for taking US$277 million in bribes

  • Amount of bribes received by ex-chairman of China Huarong Asset Management was ‘extremely large, the crime’s circumstances were particularly serious and the social impact was particularly severe’, Supreme People’s Court says
  • Lai was convicted by a court in Tianjin earlier this month

AdChoiceTV News — China on Friday executed a former top banker accused of taking almost 1.8 billion yuan (US$277 million) worth of bribes, other forms of corruption and bigamy, state media reported.Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of Huarong, one of China’s largest state-controlled asset management firms, was put to death by a court in the northern city of Tianjin, CCTV said.

“The amount of bribes received by Lai Xiaomin was extremely large, the crime’s circumstances were particularly serious and the social impact was particularly severe,” the report cited China’s Supreme People’s Court as saying, which reviewed and approved the execution order.

It did not say how Lai was executed, but said he was allowed to meet with close relatives before his death.

Huarong is one of China’s largest state-controlled asset management firms. Photo: Sean Tyler Chan

Chinese courts have a conviction rate of over 99 per cent and it is extremely rare for a death sentence to be overturned. The number of executions carried out annually is considered a state secret.null

Rights group Amnesty International estimates the country is the top executioner globally, with thousands executed and sentenced to death every year.Lai was convicted and sentenced earlier this month. The Tianjin court ruled he had shown “extreme malicious intent” and abused his position to obtain the vast sum.

He was also found guilty of bigamy after living with a woman “as man and wife for long periods” outside his marriage and fathering illegitimate children.

Lai was alleged to have used his position to embezzle more than 25 million yuan in public funds between 2009 and 2018.

His downfall began in April 2018 as investigators removed him from his job and stripped him of his Communist Party position.Several high-profile party officials and entrepreneurs have spectacularly fallen from grace in recent years as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption purge. — via Sean Tyler Chan / AdChoiceTV News

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