Monday, 3 November 2014

Fact of the Day: A Stack of 200M Yuan is Really High

Only a small fraction of the bank notes stashed in Wei Pengyuan's flat...
We'd like to interrupt our daily programming to bring you this interesting factoid:

When you stack 200 million yuan ($32.68 million) in single 100-yuan notes on top of each other, it measures 200 metres high, which is 6 metres taller than Times Square in Causeway Bay.

This came up after investigators found a corrupt coal official had stashed 200 million yuan in local and foreign currency in his home.

Wei Pengyuan was deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission's coal department and it looks like he may have received a lot of kickbacks.

He bought several flats with his ill-gotten gains and used one of them to store his cash.

How much 200M yuan stacks up against an average-sized man, and a building
"It marks the largest amount of money in cash we have seized from a corrupt official during a single operation since 1949," said Xu Jinhui, an official from the Supreme People's Procuratorate overseeing the handling of graft cases.

Investigators used 16 cash-counting machines, and four of them broke down. Was that due to the overwhelming amount of cash or because the machines were made in China? Or is that not a relevant question to ask?

In any event, the powerful NDRC is responsible for both policy planning and approval for development projects, these officials are highly susceptible to taking a few bribes here and there...

News reports say Wei dressed plainly and even rode an old bicycle to work to avoid bringing attention to himself.

But why didn't Wei flee the country earlier? Or did he think he would never get caught? Or 200 million yuan wasn't enough?

It also makes us wonder how many others have as much or more than Wei stashed somewhere...

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