Image credit: @davidden.
Wei Pengyuan, vice director of the National Energy Administration’s coal department, was arrested on suspicion of corruption after authorities found more than 100 million yuan in cash stacked up at his home in Beijing, Caixin reported yesterday.
Just to give you a feel, the massive haul of cash uncovered by investigators took 16 mechanical bill counters to be tabulated—and four of the machines burned out while counting.
Wei became vice director of NEA in 2008 and has since been in charge of approving coal mine construction and renovation projects. His most most recent public appearance was on January 9, when he visited a mine in the eastern province of Shandong with the National Development of Reform Commission (the country’s top economic planner) and Ministry of Finance officials.
Wei’s detention follows that of Hao Weiping, the head of NEA’s nuclear power department, who was nabbed by anti-graft officials on April 15 along with his wife.
Thursday’s announcement is the most recent in a string of cases involving detained officials and corrupt cash, all in the grand vision of Xi Jinping’s highly-touted campaign against corruption, in which he’s pledged to wipe out the lowly “flies” and the high-profile “tigers”.
It’s unclear how long the money had been piling up in Wei’s home. A stash of 100 million renminbi in cash probably isn’t the easiest thing to conceal, especially considering China’s largest bill is a 100-yuan note. Several papers estimated that the amount Wei had collected adds up to more than a ton in weight, according to the New York Times’ Sinosphere.
We’re wondering if he had it assembled into a money fortress.