CHINA

FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF ENGINEER OF CHINA'S RAILWAY MINISTRY SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TAKING BRIBES

The former deputy chief engineer, Zhang Shuguang, was found guilty of taking bribes of more than RMB47 million (US$7.7 million) by a court in Beijing lately.  Zhang pleaded guilty in court to 13 charges related to bribery in September and was given a death sentence suspended for two years.  Zhang was believed to be an associate of Liu Zhijun, the former Minister of Railways of China, who was given a suspended death sentence in 2013.  Zhang's deputy was also found guilty of taking bribes and was sentenced to life in prison.

SENIOR OFFICIAL IN SHENZHEN UNDER INVESTIGATIONS FOR GRAFT

Jiang Zunyu, a member of the standing committee of the Communist Party of Shenzhen Committee and secretary of the city's CPC committee of political and law affairs, is under investigation for a suspected violation of discipline. Dozens of high-ranking officials have been investigated since President Xi Jinping came into power and pushed an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign.

SENIOR MILITARY OFFICER STRIPPED OF CPC MEMBERSHIP FOR BREACH OF DISCIPLINARY RULES

Yang Jinshan, a lieutenant-general and former deputy head of the Chengdu Military Area Command, was expelled from the Communist Party of China (CPC) for serious violations of Party discipline.  It is unclear whether these violations relate to bribery.  Yang was also stripped of his membership in the CPC Central Committee, which is composed of 205 members, mostly very senior Party and government officials.   The CPC's rules and regulations provide that the highest penalty for a Party member is to strip him or her of membership. Those suspected of breaking criminal laws are then transferred to judicial authorities for prosecution.  It is yet clear whether Yang will be charged with a criminal offence.

CHINA AND AUSTRALIA PARTNER UP TO TRACK DOWN CORRUPT CHINESE OFFICIALS

As noted in more detail in the Australia section of this update, China and Australia are about to launch an unprecedented joint police operation targeted at corrupt Chinese officials who have laundered in Australia an estimated US$1 billion of proceeds from corruption and embezzlement. The Australian Federal Police will reportedly start their joint operation next month.

FORMER CHAIRMAN OF SHANGHAI-BASED BRIGHT FOOD GROUP CO. CHARGED WITH TAKING BRIBES

The chairman of Bright Food Group Co., Wang Zongnan, has been charged with corruption and embezzling public funds. Wang was allegedto have taken advantage of his position as the general manager of Shanghai Friendship Group and chairman of Lianhua Supermarkets, to seek profits for others and to have accepted bribes worth RMB2.69 million (US$438,000). He was also found to have colluded with others to embezzle public funds of about RMB190 million (US$31 million).

THREE MORE NDRC OFFICIALS UNDER INVESTIGATION

Liu Zhenqiu, head of the pricing department of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and two of his deputies were taken away by the authorities. The NDRC's pricing department supervises and approves tariffs for electricity, water and other public utilities and services, including medical services and drugs.  The pricing department is deemed to be the most powerful department within the NDRC.  Within two months, five senior officials of the unit have been put under investigation, leaving only two deputy heads now.

CNPC'S ANTI-GRAFT CHIEF DETAINED FOR CORRUPTION INVESTIGATION

Wang Lixin, head of China National Petroleum Corporation's discipline and inspection department, was detained for corruption investigations. Wang was the 10th high-level official at CNPC known to have been detained since August last year as part of the corruption investigation at the company. The investigations are thought to be linked to the corruption probe into the former national security chief Zhou Yongkang, who was a former general manager of CNPC.

GUANGDONG PROVINCE DRAFTS LAW TO CURB “NAKED OFFICIALS”

China’s southern Guangdong Province has drafted the country’s first provincial-level law that pledges to place no “naked officials” in leading positions.  “Naked officials” refers to officials who have moved their spouses and children abroad.  This legislation targets these "naked officials" as high-risk groups in the on-going crackdown on corruption. The legislation provides that such officials should not assume leading positions and other “important and sensitive” posts in areas such as security, finance and personnel. It also bans these officials from going into business or getting hired by companies in regions or sectors under their administration for three years after their retirement or resignation.

INDIA

ALSTOM TRANSPORT INDIA EX-MD TO FACE BRIBERY CHARGE IN UK

Robert Hallett, former managing director of Alstom Transport India, appeared in a London magistrate's court facing charges in connection with an SFO investigation of alleged bribery involving Alstom's UK subsidiary. He was remanded on conditional bail. A plea and case management hearing of this case and Alstom UK's case has been scheduled for 28 January 2015.

THAILAND

TRAFFIC POLICE IN THAILAND OFFERED CASH INCENTIVES TO REFUSE BRIBES

Traffic police in Thailand will be rewarded with money for refusing bribes. The deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau said that two policemen were recently awarded more than US$350 for refusing a US$3 bribe. The move is part of a push by the military government to combat a so-called "culture of corruption" within the force. 

INDONESIA

INDONESIA’S ANTI-GRAFT BODY PROBES FORMER MINISTERS

Indonesia's anti-graft body, the KPK, has been investigating a number of ministers in former leader Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's government.  The former minister of sports in Yudhoyono's government, Andi Mallarangeng, was sentenced to four years in jail for loose supervision that led to graft in a ministry project. The former energy and mining minister, Jero Wacik, was investigated as a suspect in an alleged extortion case.  The newly elected president, Joko Widodo, is said to be planning to require the ministerial candidates (and their spouses) in his government to sign an integrity commitment pact. 

CAMBODIA

PRUDENTIAL PLEDGES TO FIGHT CORRUPTION IN CAMBODIA

Prudential Cambodia Life Assurance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Prudential Corporation Asia, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Kingdom's Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), pledging to fight corruption in Cambodia.  Under the Memorandum, Prudential Cambodia commits to standards of transparency, anti-bribery and staff training to prevent corruption.

VIETNAM

SUSPENDED JUDGE CHARGED FOR TAKING BRIBES

Nguyen Duy Hiep who is a judge at the Thanh Liem District People's Court in Ha Nam Province was charged with bribery.  Hiep was detained for allegedly accepting US$11,000 to keep an embezzler out of jail.

PUBLIC SECTOR CORRUPTION ON THE RISE IN VIETNAM

A high-ranking government official stated that corruption remains serious in Vietnam in public sectors, particularly in the sectors of finance and banking, land and natural resources management and exploitation, and public investment.  According to a report sent to the legislators, investigators have dealt with 415 graft cases, involving 1,031 defendants, so far this year.

MALAYSIA

847 CORRUPTION-RELATED ARRESTS OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS

According to the Deputy Minister, Razali Ibrahim, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has made 847 arrests for various corruption-related offences between 2009 and August 2014.  Lectures and advertisements relating to integrity enhancement have also been put in place through the electronic and mass media.

TAIWAN

TAIPEI COUNCILLOR JAILED FOR CORRUPTION CHARGES

Lai Su-ju, Taipei City Councilor, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for taking bribes in the amount of NT$15 million (US$ 493,000) from a multinational consortium in return for assisting the company in obtaining a priority status in contract negotiations for the Gate of Taipei two-tower construction project.  Cheng Hung-tao, who was in charge of the consortium, was sentenced to eight months in jail for committing the bribery.

PAKISTAN

PAKISTAN ANTI-GRAFT WATCHDOG FILES CASE AGAINST EX-PRIME MINSTER

Pakistan anti-graft watchdog, National Accountability Bureau (NAB), decided to file a corruption case against former Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, for the appointment of his son-in-law to the World Bank, allegedly in violation of rules and regulations and by misusing his authority as Prime Minister.