BEIJING CORRUPTION CASES DOUBLE IN BRIBERY CRACKDOWN

BEIJING CORRUPTION CASES DOUBLE IN BRIBERY CRACKDOWN

The number of bribery cases uncovered in Beijing has shot up this year in a crackdown that has ensnared the most senior victims in China's bid to crush burgeoning graft, the China Daily said on Thursday.

Prosecutors in the graft-plagued Chinese capital uncovered 948 cases of bribery and corruption in the first half of 1995, double the total for the first six months of 1994, the official newspaper said.Only 975 such cases came to light in all of 1994.

It credited the spiraling number of cases to the increased zeal of Beijing's anti-corruption crackdown, which in recent months has reached as high as China's ruling Communist Party Politburo.

More than 100 of the cases involved more than 100,000 yuan ($12,000) and some cases had even been traced to law enforcers, the newspaper quoted officials as saying.

The number of senior officials trapped by the corruption crackdown doubled in the first six months of the year, the newspaper said.

It made no mention of Wang Baosen, former Beijing vice mayor, who shot

himself on a rural Beijing hillside on April 4 after coming under investigation for massive corruption.

Mr. Wang's boss, former city party chief and member of China's powerful Politburo Chen Xitong, is now under formal investigation for suspected involvement in economic crimes.

Many economic crimes took place in the finance industry, futures trading or in real estate, the newspaper said.

One case involving value-added tax invoices would have cost the state 5.05 billion yuan ($610 million) in lost revenue if it had not been uncovered by prosecutors in the city's eastern Chaoyang district, it said.

China has this year stepped up its trumpeted national drive against corruption, which President Jiang Zemin has called a virus that could threaten Communist rule.