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Caixin

Another exec at China's biggest policy bank accused of graft

Scandal-ridden CDB attracts more heat from government watchdogs

A former executive of China Development Bank is being targeted by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and Beijing's anti-corruption agency.   © AP

A former operating chief of China Development Bank, the nation's biggest policy lender, has been placed under investigation by the Communist Party's graft-buster on suspicion of taking bribes worth millions of yuan, sources with knowledge of the matter told Caixin.

Zhang Maolong, 68, is being investigated by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the local anti-corruption agency in Beijing, according to an official statement released on Monday. The corruption watchdogs said Zhang was being investigated for "suspicion of serious violation in [party] discipline and law" -- a common euphemism for graft -- without giving details.

The probe comes eight years after Zhang's retirement. Zhang joined CDB in 2000 and eventually became chief operating officer in 2010. He retired from the post in February 2013.

During Zhang's three-year term, he received millions of yuan in bribes, including from a private company involved in the construction of a CDB branch office buildings, the sources said.

The case of Zhang Linwu, a former senior CDB official who was put under investigation in January, also alleges bribes worth hundreds of thousands of yuan received from the same private company, the sources said. His case is connected with that of Zhang Maolong.

Zhang Linwu, 50, served as president of the Chongqing branch of CDB from December 2014 to January 2016. He was removed from the position after his second ex-wife reported to the bank that he illegally reimbursed invoices worth thousands of yuan, people at CDB said. He later moved to one of the bank's project appraisal departments.

CDB has been hit by a string of graft scandals in recent years. In early January, former chairman Hu Huaibang was convicted of receiving bribes worth 85.5 million yuan ($13.2 million) from 2009 to 2019 in exchange for helping others with financing, business operations and promotions.

In the same month, the CCDI said Yang Degao, a former vice president of the Hubei branch, had been expelled from the party. Yang was accused of taking bribes, illicitly making profits from issuing loans, and taking advantage of his position to benefit his relatives.

Yang had helped a company in which he had a stake to illegally raise funds from the public at an annual interest rate as high as 70%, sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Also in January, Wang Xuefeng, a former president of the Shanxi provincial branch, was expelled from the party and removed from public office on suspicion of corruption. Wang was found to have taken a large number of bribes in exchange for facilitating financial deals, the CCDI said.

CDB is the largest among China's three policy banks by assets, followed by the Agricultural Development Bank of China and the Import-Export Bank of China.

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Read also the original story.

Caixinglobal.com is the English-language online news portal of Chinese financial and business news media group Caixin. Nikkei agreed with the company to exchange articles in English.

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