China executes Lai Xiaomin accused of corruption, polygamy

Lai Xiaomin, former boss of an investment fund accused of polygamy and having received more than $278 million in bribes, was executed Friday morning, public television announced.

In early January, Lai Xiaomin was sentenced to death, an unusual sentence in China against a top economic leader. The court had also found him guilty of “polygamy”.

Justice accused him of having obtained $278 million in bribes and tried to receive 15. 8 million more. She also attributed to him, embezzlement of public funds of 3.7 million dollars.

The amounts were “extremely large, the circumstances particularly serious and the intentions extremely malicious”, a court in Tianjin (north) had indicated in its judgment.

The boss of the China Huarong group, whose mode of execution was not specified, had also been found guilty of having “lived a long time with other women”, outside of his marriage, of which he had “illegitimate children”.

In January 2020, he made a confession broadcast by public television CCTV.

Images of an apartment in Beijing, supposed to belong to him, with safes and cupboards filled with wads of cash, were then released.

“I did not dare to spend”

Lai Xiaomin, who had previously worked at the central bank and former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management Co., claimed not to have “spent a single penny”.

“I did not dare to spend” the money, he said.

Images had also shown luxury cars and gold bars that the accused allegedly accepted as bribes.

China Huarong Asset Management is one of China’s largest managers of bad debts (i.e. with a high probability of default).

China launched a massive anti-corruption campaign in 2012 after President Xi Jinping took over as head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since then, over one and a half million CCP cadres have been sanctioned.

This operation, popular with the public, is also suspected of serving to remove personalities opposed to the president’s line.

China keeps the utmost secrecy on the executions of those sentenced to death. The human rights organization Amnesty International estimates that thousands of common law prisoners are executed every year in the country.

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