China: Former Huarong Chairman Lai Xiaomin sentenced to death for taking bribes, corruption, rumoured to have 100 mistresses

Image Credit: The Standard

Former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co Lai Xiaomin has been sentenced to death on charges of bribery, corruption and bigamy. A local court in Tianjin City found Lai Xiaomin guilty of taking bribes worth a total of 1.79 billion yuan (S$365 million) between 2008-18. As per the ruling, all his personal assets will be confiscated.

Lai Xiaomin committed the crimes as a senior banking regulator, the Secondary Intermediate People’s Court of Tianjin observed. “Lai Xiaomin was lawless and extremely greedy,” the court said. “The social harm was huge and the crimes were extremely serious and he should be severely punished according to law,” it said. He was infamous for having a hundred mistresses.

Lai confessed in a state TV documentary that he preferred cash payments and would drive the money to an apartment in Beijing, from where the police recovered more than 200 million yuan later. He pleaded guilty in his final statement and expressed remorse over his conduct.

Lai was expelled from the Chinese Communist Party in 2018 and was detained. It was discovered that he owned a great many properties, luxury watches, cars, gold and art collections. The court observed that he took advantage of his position to capture millions of yuan worth of public funds in collusion with others. He was also charged with bigamous violations of his marriage.

According to Chinese state media, more than a million government officials have been punished in Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive. It is to be noted that Alibaba founder Jack Ma is also under the radar and an antitrust investigation has been initiated against the Alibaba Group Holding after the billionaire made unsavoury comments against financial regulators.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia