A senior police officer has been slapped with a 20-year jail sentence and 500,000 RMB fine after a Shandong court found he was guilty of taking 2.7 million RMB (440,000 USD) in bribes and protecting a notorious gangster, reports China Daily.
Shan Guowei, who was the former police chief of Shinan district in Qingdao, is the latest public servant to be taken down in Xi Jinping’s ongoing crackdown on corruption.
The court found that Shan accepted bribes to help the local mafia elude justice. He received a bronze piece of art (valued at 300,000 RMB) from the gang’s deputy in a tea house; and helped another gangster who was charged with murder to obtain bail and flee.
While the gang was taken down in 2010, with their leader executed in 2013 for complicity in prostitution and weapons smuggling, reports suggest that 53 officials who worked in Qingdao’s political and legal departments were a party to their crimes.
The court also found that the devious police chief’s exploitation of power extended to taking bribes from subordinates for favorable recommendations for promotions, and exerting pressure on a property developer to buy houses for 2.5 million RMB undervalue.
While ‘Godfather’ like stories of dishonest police aiding gangsters seem commonplace due to the prevalence of corruption in modern China, perhaps more victories in Xi Jinping’s war against corruption may start to unnerve unscrupulous officials. Most recently, the former mayor of Nanjing was jailed for 15 years for accepting bribes, while Operation Fox Hunt has captured 680 fugitives since mid 2014. Renewed efforts to track down corrupt officials who have taken refuge overseas begin this month under the auspices of Operation Sky Net (misnomer: China is not actually commissioning Terminators from the future to hunt down renegades, although it does have a good rapport with Arnold Schwarzenegger).
By Liam Bourke