Dozens of top Chinese state-owned enterprises' bosses probed

Dozens of top Chinese state-owned enterprises' bosses probed

More than 100 senior executives at State-owned enterprises have been investigated over corruption allegations since the start of last year, with graft-busters continuing to focus on the energy industry.

Nearly half of the 115 accused worked in the fields of energy, engineering, manufacturing and construction.

The others were employed in industries including telecommunication, transportation, finance, the media, mining, publishing, liquor and tobacco.

These are the findings of a survey published on Saturday by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, the country's top anti-graft body.

More than half of the 115 were heads of SOEs, with one of the biggest "catches" being Wang Tianpu, president of China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, Asia's largest oil refiner, who was investigated on April 27.

Wang, 52, was appointed president of the company in March 2005.

The State Council handed him a major punishment in January last year because of an explosion in November 2013 in a pipeline operated by his company in Shandong province. The blast killed 62 people and caused financial losses of 750 million yuan (S$160 million).

In the latest case to be made public, Liu Fuxiang, chief executive officer of Fuxin Mining Co, one of the largest coal producers in the northeast, was investigated for alleged serious violation of Party discipline and laws.

Liu, 60, is also a member of the Party committee of Fuxin, Liaoning province.

In November, 26 workers were killed and 52 others injured when a fire broke out at the company's Hengda coal mine after a mild earthquake jolted the region.

This year, the disciplinary commission has stepped up efforts to root out corruption by - among other things - increasing inspections at major SOEs.

Twenty-six SOEs were placed under investigation and 19 top managers held during the commission's first disciplinary inspection tour from late February to the end of April.

Thirteen teams were sent to major corporations, with each team reviewing two companies. These included China National Petroleum Corp, China National Offshore Oil Corp, China Huaneng Group, State Grid Corp of China and China Mobile Communications Corp.

The number of enterprises under scrutiny was almost double that of previous inspections.

The central government has also targeted Chinese who have fled the country and are wanted on corruption charges.

Most of those targeted in this campaign, dubbed Sky Net and launched in March, are senior executives of SOEs.

The handful of economic fugitives who have returned to China include An Huimin, former general manager of a State-owned trading company in Tianjin, was brought back to Beijing on March 28 after three months on the run in Laos.

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