15 February 2017
A former Chinese spy chief, Ma Jian, has been ­formally detained and will be prosecuted for suspected graft, the state prosecutor announced on Monday. He was former executive deputy minister at the Ministry of State Security.  It was said that billionaire Xiao Jianhua left Hong Kong to travel to the mainland to “assist in the investigation” into Ma’s case. He is accused of taking bribes.
Ma was implicated in a high-profile graft probe into Founder Group, a technology conglomerate owned by Peking University. Former chief executive of this company, Li You, is believed to have financed profitable securities trades carried out by one of Ma’s relatives. Li, was jailed for four-and-a-half years for insider trading in November last year.
Mainland financial magazine Caixin reported in 2015 that Ma helped Guo Wengui, billionaire in exile, to get a sex tape which toppled Liu Zhihua, a former Beijing vice mayor, in a bidding for a landmark property project near Beijing’s Olympics stadium in 2006.
Chinese courts have jailed two former officials for corruption. They had fled abroad before being caught for their wrong-doings. Central Commission for Discipline Inspection named the two officials as Wang Guoqiang and Li Huabo. They were brought into China because of President Xi Jinping’s overseas search Operation called ‘Fox Hunt’.
Li was flown back to China from Singapore in 2015 after completing a 15 months’ jail term there for receiving more than S$240,000 in stolen funds in his Singapore bank account. The money was said to be part of the S$19 million in total that he had siphoned off from the Chinese government over five years. He was Singaporean Permanent Resident.
A court in the southern province of Jiangxi, sentenced Li to a life imprisonment on a general charge of corruption.
Wang Guoqiang turned himself in 2014 after two years on the run in the United States. A court in the northern province of Liaoning handed out an eight-year jail term for Wang for bribery. He is said to have amassed $29 million in illegal money while he was a party chief in the north-eastern province of Liaoning. Wide publicity was given to his confession as a warning to others who try to escape the law by fleeing to other countries. Wang had appeared on a Chinese television last year to describe how miserable his life on the run had been. He and his wife had been on the run for 2 years and eight months.
The anti-corruption commission encourages former officials to write their confessions so that they could be used in propaganda directed at potential offenders.
The ruling Communist Party sees golf courses as venues for shady deals between the elite, politicians and government officials. Party advised its members to avoid golf, ‘extravagant eating’, extra-marital sex and other ‘corrupt practices’.
The authorities have found adultery frequently in high-ranking graft cases. Blackmail often leads to detection of graft.
It is said that while Xi wants to improve the rule of law through the establishment of an independent body to fight corruption, the party insists it can govern itself through its anti-corruption agency Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.