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Gold standard for Chinese corruption

The US has largest reserves of gold bullion in the world — over 8,100 tonnes, or more than those of the next three in the list, Germany, Italy and France — but it seems China’s 1,937 tonne official hoard may be less than the collective hoards of its corrupt officials.

Given that a recent search of the premises of a single dishonest (and now deposed) mayor and local party boss has yielded 13.5 tonnes of the precious metal (worth $868 million) from his basement, the potential of other such stashes across China totalling more than its federal gold reserve is not impossible.

More so as the sheer number of officials convicted for corruption has led the Chinese government to raise the threshold of illegal income that qualifies for capital punishment.

This cache, however, sets the gold standard for corruption in China. The additional cash haul of the equivalent of $30 billion from this latest tainted Hainanese apparatchik has even put China’s official richest man Jack Ma’s $37 billion to shade. As that official reportedly has several other homes bought with ill-gotten gains, more bullion being found cannot be ruled out. Interestingly, India appears to lag behind China in this aspect as well, as the largest seizure of illegal gold stands at a mere 127 kg, recovered before this year’s general elections from various locations in Chennai.

Courtesy - Economic Times



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