By Emmanuel Nduka
A former top official at China’s Central Bank has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison for corruption, Chinese media reported on Thursday.
Sun Guofeng, a former head of the monetary policy department at the People’s Bank of China, exchanged information for bribes totalling 21 million yuan ($3 million), according to financial news site Caixin, citing a document released by prosecutors.
Guofeng who also used inside information about a Shanghai-listed company to make gains on the stock market, was investigated last year on suspicion of “serious violations of discipline and law”, a byword for alleged corruption.
The 51-year-old was sentenced to 16 years and six months in prison, Caixin and several Chinese media reported on Thursday, citing judicial authorities.
The sentence, according to Chinese media, is one of the heaviest for this type of case.
This comes as China’s financial sector is increasingly in the crosshairs of President Xi Jinping’s vast anti-corruption campaign.
Those placed under investigation are usually convicted.
Recently in November, Sun Deshun, the former president of the state-owned China Citic Bank, was sentenced to life in prison for illegally receiving property valued at over $130 million.
Last month also, the Communist Party announced that Zhang Hongli, previously the vice chief of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) — one of China’s biggest state-owned banks — was under investigation for suspected corruption.
Li Xiaopeng, the former boss of China’s state-owned banking giant Everbright Group was arrested on charges of taking bribes in October.
Xi has waged a sweeping campaign against deep-seated official corruption since coming to power a decade ago.
While proponents say the policy promotes clean governance, critics are opined that the haunt-down helps Xi purge political rivals.