BEIJING, Jan 29 (Reuters) - A former head of Jiangxi Copper Co,, one of China’s top copper producers, was sentenced to 18 years in jail and handed a 2.2 million yuan ($326,656.67) fine on Tuesday after being found guilty of bribery and corruption offences.
Li Yihuang, 56, took advantage of his position as chairman of state-run Jiangxi Copper to embezzle 2.68 million yuan of funds over 2011 to 2014, according to a statement from the Anqing Intermediate People’s Court, in eastern China’s Anhui province.
In his time at the company, Jiangxi Copper paid an inflated price to acquire prospecting rights at a silver mine in Jiangxi province in 2008, causing a loss of 20.87 million yuan in state-owned assets, the court said.
Subsequently, from March 2013 to May 2016, while serving as vice governor of Jiangxi, Li instructed personnel at Jiangxi Copper to embezzle 147.3 million yuan of public funds and his relatives profited from it, the court said.
The Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, China’s graft watchdog, first revealed Li was under investigation just over a year ago.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has waged a war against graft since coming to power in 2012, locking up dozens of senior officials and executives.
Reuters was unable to reach Li as he is currently in prison or a representative for comment.
$1 = 6.7349 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Tom Daly and Meng Meng; editing by Christian Schmollinger