He filled Mercedes with 100kg of gold

He filled Mercedes with 100kg of gold
Singapore got a boost with the launch yesterday of the world's first exchange-traded contract on 25kg of physical gold.

He loved gold so much that he preferred ground-up gold rather than gold bars.

When offering gifts, Gu Junshan, a lieutenant general in China's People's Liberation Army, would fill up a Mercedes with hundreds of bars of gold and then hand the car keys to the recipient. The cars had about 100kg of gold in it, the Hong Kong weekly reported.

It was part of the 30 billion yuan (S$6 billion) corruption racket, according to Phoenix Weekly, a Hong Kong-based magazine.

The scheme allegedly involved the sale of positions with the military.

Gu was arrested in 2012 and has not been seen in public since.

Further details of his alleged crimes emerged this week and it was said that he had pocketed about 600 million yuan, the weekly reported.

"Gu got exactly what he wanted," a source told the magazine.

MAO STATUE

Chinese media this year described a police raid last year on the general's mansion in Henan province, in which four trucks worth of luxury items, including a cellar of expensive wine and a pure gold statue of Chairman Mao, were seized.

The claims, published by Phoenix Weekly magazine, are seen as an attempt to bolster the public impression that Beijing was winning its fight against corruption, UK daily The Telegraph reported.

But the Hong Kong magazine report was taken down yesterday morning.

Beijing has portrayed the general's downfall as a victory in Chinese President Xi Jinping's war on corruption, which began in late 2012 after he took power.

There are three sections on the fight against corruption in a recently published collection of Mr Xi's speeches that hit the headlines on Monday after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg admitted giving copies to his colleagues.

But a Transparency International ranking published this month showed that, despite the President's anti-corruption efforts, China had fallen 20 positions to 100th place in terms of the perception of corruption.

That placed it alongside Algeria and Suriname in the list of 175 countries.


This article was first published on Dec 10, 2014.
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