Thursday, 2 April 2015

Greed: How Much is Enough?

With corrupt Chinese officials, how much cash can one stash in one's home?
How much is enough to live on?

For corrupt Chinese officials, not matter how much they embezzle it's never enough.

Take disgraced former general Gu Junshan, who allegedly took more than 20 billion yuan in taxpayer money.

He was a former deputy logistics chief of the People's Liberation Army, who strangely built a pistol-shaped house in his hometown of Puyang, Henan province. He filled it with so many valuable items that it took four full loaded trucks to take them away when corruption investigators busted him last year.

The items included maotai or Chinese liquor produced exclusively for the military filled two trucks alone. Then there were also gold figurines, including one of Mao Zedong.

Gu also pocketed over 100 million yuan for selling a Shanghai military property worth 2.4 billion yuan.

So he just sold land owned by the PLA (really public property) and kept a cut to himself? Didn't anyone notice?

It all caught up with him last year when he was charged with bribery, embezzlement, misuse of state funds and abuse of power. His fate is not known.

Another official with ill-gotten gains is former National Energy Administration head Liu Tienan.

He and his family had access to 12 foreign passports, and Liu had five properties in Beijing, Qingdao (Shandong province), Taiyuan (Shanxi province), and also possessed five luxury watches and five artworks by renowned painters Qi Baishi and Fu Baoshi.

Liu was jailed for life last year by a Hebei court for taking bribes of more than 35 million yuan and abusing his power.

Then there was former energy official Wei Pengyuan, who stashed so much cash that graft inspectors broke four bill counting machines when trying to find out exactly how much money he had.

"Wei owned more than 10 properties worth over 100 million yuan... more than 230 million yuan in cash was found in his home," stated a  transcript of his case.

Last year 680 corrupt officials were caught by the Ministry of Public Security, and with Operation Fox Hunt 2015 launched yesterday, the government intends to catch even more suspects.

Reading about these three corrupt officials makes one wonder how easily they had access to whatever money and valuables they could get their hands on, and it was never enough. Or did they think it was a game to steal as much as they could before they got caught? Or did they do it because everyone else was doing it and felt they were missing out if they didn't do it too?

Someone should do research on these corrupt officials to find out the the psychology behind them, because no matter how many officials get caught, there are still many more behind them...


  1. I wonder... how much of this corrupt accumulation stems from actual greed and how much from the feeling of "I have the power and ability to do this, so why not?" Like you wrote, someone should do research into the psychology of these officials...

    1. Hi YTSL -- Yes I really want to know the motivation of these people! Of course it could change over time, but that would also be interesting to know too!

  2. I wonder how many billions Xi Jinping is embezzled so far?

    how about Hu JinTao and family? How about Jiang Zemin and family? Even Mao ZeDong and family? All these so called leaders (except Xi) known to embezzle billions along with their families...

    I wonder how much CY Leung has hidden from the public...maybe billions of HKD...