Chinese authorities on Friday executed Lai Xiaomin, a former banker accused of obtaining more than one billion yuan in bribes and other forms of corruption, as well as bigamy, state television CCTV reported. .
Lai was a former chairman of Huarong, one of China’s top state fund managers, and was sentenced to death in early January.
He was convicted of receiving nearly 1.8 billion yuan (R $ 1.52 billion, at current rate) in bribes between 2008 and 2018, while he was also a banking regulator, and for embezzlement of 25.1 million yuan (R $ 21.2 million).
“Lai Xiaomin was outlawed and extremely greedy. The social damage was enormous and the crimes extremely serious, and he must be severely punished according to the law,” the Tianjin court said in its sentence.
The executive was confiscated of all assets and was also convicted of bigamy for “living a long time with other women” outside of marriage, with whom he had children considered illegitimate.
A year ago, Lai made a confession video shown on Chinese public television showing footage of an apartment in Beijing with lockers full of wads of cash. CCTV also showed luxury cars and gold bars the former banker allegedly received as a bribe, although he said he didn’t spend a single penny. “I didn’t dare spend it,” Lai said at the time.
Huarong, the state-owned bank chaired by Lai, is one of the largest default managers in China and, along with three other companies, was established in 1999 by the government to cleanse the banking sector of bad debts. Since then, the group has diversified and is also active in the areas of investment, credit and the real estate sector.
The bank supported the punishment. “Lai Xiaomin’s harsh treatment reflects the strong determination of the Central Committee, with President Xi Jinping as the center, to administer the Party [Comunista] and its zero tolerance to punish corruption, ”the institution said, when the sentence was released.
In the execution decision, the justice stressed that most of the activities in the fight against this type of crime took place after the 18th Congress of the Communist Party, at the end of 2012, an event that launched the vast anti-corruption campaign that marked the Xi’s first term as general secretary. organisation.
As one of the targets of this campaign, Lai was expelled from the Communist Party in 2018 on charges of violating captioning rules and of presiding over Huarong “in a blind and disorderly manner.”
At the time, his expulsion drew the attention of political analysts to the possibility that the dictatorial regime led by Xi was using the party’s disciplinary apparatus to concentrate power and get rid of dissidents – since 2012, more than 1.5 million communist leaders suffered some sort of sanction.
Corruption cases rarely result in the death penalty, but Lai’s case may have been punished more severely for provoking public outrage and because of the high values involved.
In 2016, China changed its laws and increased the maximum amount of the death penalty for those convicted of corruption. Before the change, those who appropriated at least 100,000 yuan (R $ 84,500) for corruption crimes could be punished by execution.
With the new rule, capital punishment has become a possibility – still rarely used – when its value exceeds 3 million yuan (2.5 million reais).