Former Liaoning Province leader sentenced to life imprisonment

Wang Min, former party chief of northeast China's Liaoning Province has been sentenced to life imprisonment with all his personal assets confiscated for accepting bribes, corruption, and dereliction of duty. Wang Min was found to have embezzled RMB 1 million ($148,577) in public funds and accepted bribes worth more than RMB 146 million ($ 21.7 million) when he served as a senior official in Jilin and Liaoning provinces between 2004 and 2016. Wang was found to have taken advantage of his various positions to help others with business and promotions. He was also found to have embezzled public funds worth one million yuan, when he was Party chief of Jilin Province. The court also convicted Wang of dereliction of duty as during his time as Liaoning Party chief, Wang failed to properly supervise local elections and was responsible for serious election fraud including vote buying.

Ex-senior executive of China Development Bank sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment

Yao Zhongmin, the former senior executive of China Development Bank, the country's largest lender, has been sentenced to14 years' imprisonment with a fine of RMB 3.5 million ($520,276) for accepting bribes totalling RMB 36 million from 2002 to 2013 in return for helping with loans and property development projects. The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection launched an investigation into Yao’s alleged “severe violations of party codes of conduct” in June last year. He was subsequently expelled from the Communist Party and removed from office. Yao’s sentencing came just weeks after China’s President Xi Jinping publicly criticised the country’s financial regulators for failing in their duty to contain financial risks.

China's Securities Regulatory Commission imposes sanctions

It is estimated that a total of RMB6.36 billion (approximately $950 million) fines have been given by the China Securities Regulatory Commission ("CSRC") in the first half of 2017, the CSRC has recently imposed penalties on the following individuals:

  • Lai Weiqiang, the general manager of Shenzhen Twowing Technologies, was fined RMB 823,000 (approximately $122,802) with all illegal income being confiscated for taking advantage of insider information to make a profit of RMB 274,000 (approximately $41,000).

  • Wang Hui, was fined RMB50,000 (approximately $7,460) for buying 'Longxi shares' 157,700 shares through non-public information from an insider of Fujian Longxi Bearing (Group) Co., Ltd.

  • Que Wenbin, controlling shareholder of Hengkang Medical Group Co Ltd was fined RMB 3.04 million (approximately $450,000), with all his illegal income amounting to RMB 3.04 million being confiscated for manipulating stock prices through insider information.

  • Diecai Asset Management (Shanghai) Co Ltd was fined RMB 97.16 million (approximately $14.56 million), with its illegal income of RMB 48.58 million (approximately $7.2 million) being confiscated. The company's actual controller Xie Fenghua, was fined RMB 600,000 (approximately $90,000) with a lifetime ban in the equity market.

Former officer expelled from CPC

Zhang Huawei, a former vice-ministerial level disciplinary officer has been expelled from the Communist Party of China ("CPC") for corruption and violating the party's code of conduct. Zhang was found to have abused his power to interfere with inspections and investigations at institutions and had accepted multiple bribes. Zhang will soon be transferred to judicial authorities for criminal investigation with any illegal income to be confiscated.Chinese authorities focus on combatting pyramid schemes Police in China's Guangxi region have announced that they have arrested over 350 individuals involved in six separate pyramid schemes where more than 1.5 billion yuan ($225 million) was involved. Police have also confiscated 57 vehicles, computers and bank cards used by the suspects. China began a campaign against pyramid selling in August following the death of university graduate Li Wenxing, 23, who became involved in a pyramid scheme through an online recruitment site and was found drowned in the city of Tianjin.

Chinese authorities focus on combatting pyramid schemes  Police in China's Guangxi region have announced that they have arrested over 350 individuals involved in six separate pyramid schemes where more than 1.5 billion yuan ($225 million) was involved. Police have also confiscated 57 vehicles, computers and bank cards used by the suspects. China began a campaign against pyramid selling in August following the death of university graduate Li Wenxing, 23, who became involved in a pyramid scheme through an online recruitment site and was found drowned in the city of Tianjin.


Bribing of voters in focus as Malaysia polls near

The offer of a travel allowance to entice voters to return to their hometowns has been deemed to be a bribe, according to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission ("MACC"). MACC's deputy chief commissioner, Azam Baki has stated that offering voters any form of inducement, including cash or gifts, is considered bribery. The warning comes in light of Malaysia's next general election which is due in the next 12 months.


Philippines no longer to be monitored by APG

The Philippines has escaped action by the Anti-Money Laundering Council which stated that the country was due to be removed from the Asia-Pacific Group on Money Laundering ("APG"). The APG is composed of 41 member countries and supported by the World Bank, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and other international organisations. It was previously reported that the Philippines would be placed on a list of countries to be closely monitored. However in light of recent measures to introduce casinos and internet and ship-based casinos under anti-money laundering laws, the country is set to remain as part of the APG. As founding member of the APG since 1997, the Philippines has committed to follow money laundering standards set by the Financial Action Task Force ("FATF"). Aside from the Philippines, Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, Nepal, Pakistan, Chinese Taipei and Vietnam also escaped APG action.

South Korea

Prosecutors launch investigation into FA-50 Aircraft Deal

Prosecutors in South Korea have launched an investigation into suspicions of accounting fraud at Korea Aerospace Industries Co. ("KAI"), with its top executives already under probe for cost manipulation. Prosecutors suspect that KAI also overstated the value of proceeds from the sale of a light attack aircraft, FA-50, to Iraq, a deal worth an estimated 3 trillion won ($2.67 billion). The defence company signed a deal to supply 24 of the aircraft to the Middle East nation in 2013. The prosecution states that KAI created false financial records as if it had collected the payment from the Iraqi buyers, when the money was in fact not received. The probe will focus on the alleged accounting fraud, with the country's financial watchdog also conducting its own audit on KAI's accounting.

Samsung heir sentenced to five year's imprisonment

The heir to Samsung, Lee Jae-yong has been sentenced by a South Korean court to five years' imprisonment as he was found guilty of offering bribes to the country's former president, as well as other crimes. The court has also found Lee guilty of embezzlement, disguising assets overseas, concealing criminal proceeds and acts of perjury. Lee, South Korea's third wealthiest individual, had been accused of providing large donations to foundations run by a close friend and confidante of the deposed South Korean president, Park Geun-hye, has been convicted of multiple corruption offences, in return for political favours. Lee's sentence is the longest given to any South Korean leader and his representatives have stated that they will appeal the decision to have the charges dismissed. Four additional Samsung executives were also convicted in relation to this case.


Ex-chairman publicly confesses to crimes

Trinh Xuan Thanh, an ex-oil executive who spent nearly a year in hiding overseas after being charged with criminal mismanagement, appeared on a broadcast on Thursday, stating that he would return to Vietnam to face charges. Vietnam’s public security ministry announced that Thanh had turned himself in to the police in Hanoi after evading an international wanted notice issued in September 2016. Trinh Xuan Thanh is the former deputy chairman of the administration of Hau Giang Province and the former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction JSC ("PVC"), a subsidiary of state-run oil and gas corporation PetroVietnam. Thanh is among six other individuals indicted on charges of allegedly "intentionally violating state regulations on economic management ” which led to losses worth approximately $147 million to PVC.


Corruption hotline receives over 1,300 reports in its first month

The National Council for Peace and Order ("NCPO") has announced that it filed over 1,300 corruption cases against state officials in the first month of the operation of a new complaint centre. Following review from a military panel the centre has forwarded 10% of calls to the Centre for National Anti-Corruption, with the remaining cases sent to other relevant agencies. The NCPO has stated that the centre will give priority to cases related to corruption and has urged callers to prepare sufficient supporting information before filing reports.  


Former employees jailed for misappropriation of $5.1 million

Two former employees of Singapore Statutory Boards Employees' Cooperative Thrift and Loan Society ("Co-op"), Arni Ahmad and Hanati Jani, were sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment and 9 years and 8 months' imprisonment respectively for defrauding the Co-op of more than $5.1 million. Arni Ahmad was an administrative manager and faced 467 charges while Hanati Jani who was an administrative executive faced 275 charges. Investigations between 2008 and 2013 showed that the two individuals deceived the Co-op by using false memberships to receive funds. Amongst other offences, the individuals prepared false loan applications on behalf of false members who were relatives. The relatives were instructed to receive funds and to transfer them to the two individuals.


Marketing rules to be introduced for pharmaceuticals

India is drafting its first set of marketing rules for pharmaceutical firms, restricting gifts and trips offered to doctors and pharmacists up to the value of 100 rupees ($15). Unlike many other economies, India does not have much regulation in the pharmaceutical industry and only provides voluntary guidance. However the government is now actively working to combat unethical selling practices which are used to convince doctors and pharmacists to prescribe and stock specific drugs. Draft documents suggest that a failure to abide by the published rules would result in a marketing ban for the drug-maker for up to one year or more, depending on the degree of violation.