(March 24, 2000)
State auditors unravel Three Gorges web of corruption
The official Chinese media has reported another Three Gorges corruption scandal, this time linked to top executives at the companies responsible for building the world’s largest hydrodam.
The Chinese language Hong Kong Commercial Daily reports that a former general manager of the Three Gorges Industrial Company was fired earlier this year for buying dilapidated, second-hand construction machinery to build the Three Gorges dam.
Dai Lansheng’s company imported hundreds of antiquated trucks, bulldozers, excavators, and loading vehicles which increased the unit cost of excavating the Three Gorges dam site by 20 percent because the machinery didn’t work properly and needed costly repairs.
Dai has not been formally charged yet but state auditors suspect that he and his cronies at the Gezhouba Corporation – which owns the Three Gorges Industrial Company and is the main subcontractor building the Three Gorges dam – received kickbacks from the used machinery deal.
According to a retired Gezhouba official, Dai would often boast: “If I am going to go down, a lot of other people will go down with me.”
State auditors have revealed that Dai ran the Three Gorges Industrial Company like his personal enterprise, denying the Gezhouba Corporation’s auditors access to the company’s accounts.
The year-long investigation has also uncovered evidence that Dai exchanged cement intended for the Three Gorges dam for two luxury apartments in Shanghai and used company funds to pay the personal expenses of his boss, Qiao Shengxiang, the former head of the Gezhouba Corporation.
Qiao Shengxiang, also under investigation, ran the Gezhouba Corporation for 16 years until his dismissal last March. The Gezhouba Corporation built the Gezhouba dam, 40 kilometres downstream from Three Gorges, which was supposed to take five years to build but took almost two decades and cost four times the original budget.
Three Gorges Probe, March 24, 2000
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Categories: Three Gorges Probe