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Bribery pervades list of wealthiest

Nearly 30 billionaires formerly on the list of China's richest people have been charged with bribery or are at the center of a police investigation, a new report shows.

Researchers for the Hurun Report, an annual list of China's rich and powerful, yesterday revealed that 19 of the 1,330 business tycoons listed in the past 10 years are either in jail or are waiting for sentencing on bribery charges.

Another 10 on the list are currently under investigation, according to "The Hurun Report: Rich in Trouble".

Seven other tycoons had previously been investigated by police though results of the probes are yet unknown, while seven have disappeared from public life and six are dead.

The report comes amid revelations yesterday that China's top legislature accepted the resignation of an entrepreneur from central Henan province from his post as deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) for alleged involvement in "serious economic crimes".

Cui Mingjie, board chairman and general manager of the Henan Xiecheng (Shoe Town) Leather Company, submitted his resignation to the 10th session of the 11th NPC Standing Committee.

Cui, 41, was ranked 654th in the 2007 Hurun Report.

Rupert Hoogewerf, founder and publisher of the Hurun Report, said ethics and the history of the country's economic development are partly to blame for these problems.

"In the '80s and early '90s, private companies in the country were not allowed to have accounts in banks. Difficulties with fundraising led many private businessmen into tax evasion and bribery," he said in the report.

He said that having 1.4 percent of the listed billionaires in trouble is a "normal" ratio for a booming country.

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 Source : China Daily  Editor: Ivy
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