Leaky toilets are pesky things, they involve expending huge amounts of money getting a plumber to come and rectify it. Luckily a former transport director in Chongqing ‘s Wushan county Yan Dabin was in the position to pay the plumber. Unluckily for Yan Dabin he wasn’t home at the time.

The neighbor living below the property complained that water was leaking through the ceiling. The apartment above was vacant, but owned by Dabin, after forcing their way in the police found the problem, a broken pipe. They also found a number of soggy boxes.

The cops being ‘nice’ people tried to move the boxes to a dry place. But natural human curiosity played a part, and when they looked inside they found 100 yuan banknotes totaling 9.39 million yuan. They immediately notified authorities, who ordered an investigation. Police found that the money and flat belonged to Yan.

Graft has been a longstanding problem in China, maybe it is because of the very nature of the the culture and government, but when it comes to light, the punishments are generally terminal. That is the case here.

Yan Dabin was given the death sentence by the Chongqing Second Intermediate People’s Court yesterday after being convicted of taking bribes and accepting kickbacks from private developers in exchange for road construction contracts while he was in office between 2001 and early this year.

While I am a big fan of making the crime fit the punishment, death does seem a little harsh. Hmm on second thoughts maybe the death sentence should be on the books for corrupt politicians. We seem to have plenty of them. This could be viewed as a way to ‘cull’ the political problem. I’ll just bet my last dollar that Republican Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska is glad he doesn’t live in China!

Simon Barrett


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