May 24, 2018 / 3:29 AM / a month ago

China jails insurer PICC's ex-president for corruption - state media

BEIJING (Reuters) - The former president of the People’s Insurance Company (Group) of China Ltd was jailed for 11 years for taking bribes, state media reported on Thursday, the latest senior executive brought down by Beijing’s anti-graft campaign.

Wang Yincheng, president of the People's Insurance Group of China, attends at a panel discussion at the Boao Forum for Asia in Qionghai, Hainan province, China April 8, 2013. Picture taken April 8, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer

Wang Yincheng, who was also a vice Communist Party secretary at state-owned PICC, was found guilty of receiving 8.7 million yuan ($1.36 million) in bribes from 2006 to 2016 in exchange for helping individuals and companies with project contracts, giving staff promotions and hiring their children, the official People’s Daily reported.

The newspaper cited a verdict made by the Intermediate Court of Fozhou.

Wang also faces 1 million yuan in fines and confiscation of his illegal gains, the court said.

Reuters could not reach Wang or his representatives for comment.

Wang is the latest senior financial executive to be caught in Chinese President Xi Jinping’s far-reaching fight against corruption.

Xi has presided over the anti-graft drive since coming to power in late 2012, punishing more than a million party members and jailing top military figures. Retired security tsar Zhou Yongkang became the most senior official toppled for corruption since 1949.

China’s top leaders have pledged to intensify a crackdown on financial risks this year. A number of senior financial officials and executives, such as Anbang Insurance Group Co’s ex-chairman Wu Xiaohui, have been jailed under that campaign.

Wang was placed under investigation by the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI), in February 2017.

The CCDI expelled Wang from the Communist Party in July after investigations found serious violations of party discipline - a euphemism for corruption.

The commission said Wang tried to bribe CCDI officials during the investigation.

It said Wang “pursued extravagant pleasures”, took advantage of PICC facilities for private use, used company funds to pay for personal travels, and changed overseas business schedules in order to play golf.

Reporting by Shu Zhang and Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Paul Tait

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