As far as corruption goes, it seems the term “skeletons in the closet” should not be taken too literally. For Hebei Shenzhou’s Rural Credit Union, the discovery of their secret activities led to 68 people who were previously certified as dead, being found well and truly alive.
Many of the 68 in question were government officials, who had managed to escape their debts after becoming certified as dead. The sum avoided amounted to 2,500,000 RMB. After the trial, on Friday, 18 October, the guilty parties were given relatively minor sentences, leaving many netizens furious, with many suggesting they should be granted the status they were asking for in the first place.
The trial was held at the county court in Shenzhou city’. Tangzhen town’s head of the police station, the head of the Rural Credit Union, the head of the police station at Bincao Village, and the head of the Rural Credit Union at Bincao Village were all accused of abusing their power, alongside the faking of both death and disappearance reports. The Beijing Morning Post reports that two of the accused were sentenced to seven months, while two others were sentenced to seven months of prison time as well as one year’s probation.
Xinhua News gave more details, specifying that with the help of these different institutions, Wei Zhichun, member of CCP’s Shenzhen Standing Committee, had 410,000 RMB of loans written off after his death was faked. Most of the people who faked their deaths are reported to have had the ability to pay off their debts. The Rural Credit Union claims that faking deaths was an attempt to keep the rate of bad debts at lower than 3 per cent, but none of the “dead people” made any attempt to pay back their loans.
Most netizens were outraged at the news, partly because of the “faked deaths”, partly because of the involvement of so many government officials, and partly because of the huge amount of debts wiped out. The light sentences further added to the fury.
线路图哦: Just a seven month sentence and then probation? Maybe just not sentence them at all, then no time would be wasted!
一位沉默的先生: In China, this isn’t new.
波西米亚的喵: What’s there to hold a trial for? Give them what they wished for.
打死俺也不说007: On this land, whatever happens is ordinary. Only keeping calm can let you live, otherwise you’d get shocked to death, angry to death, laugh to death…
Image courtesy of Aaron Escobar.