Amidst China’s aggressive crackdown on corruption, a former vice governor known for his appetite for jade and arts was sentenced to 17 years in prison. Ni Fake was found guilty of taking more than $2 million in bribes. CCTV’s Audrey Siek reported from Washington, D.C.
The Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in the eastern city of Dongying said that Ni colluded with local businessmen and helped them illegally develope real estate properties. The court also found that Ni abused public power for personal gain from 2003 to 2012 by taking cash and jadeware.
“In 2011, I took a vacation to Hainan province together with my friend from a real estate company. I was going to pay my bill when my friend stopped me and said my brother still owed him 1.2 million yuan from a construction project. He said he could ask my brother to pay for me and also cancel the remaining debt of my brother,” Ni said.
Ni was in charge of land resources when he was the vice governor of Anhui province. Since 2008, he helped nine real estate companies illegally acquire land in return for gifts. He also helped a mining company obtain mining rights.
“I helped a company in their development and processing of jade mines. That’s when I began to learn about jade and became obsessed with it. So I took all the jade gifts from the mining companies,” Ni said.
Of the 17.3 million yuans of family assets discovered by the prosecutor, precious stones, scrolls of calligraphy and paintings constituted nearly 80 percent. In addition, Ni also failed to explain the sources for nearly $1 million of additional assets. The court said that Ni confessed and would not appeal the verdict.