Chinese Communist Party cadres are capable of embezzling huge sums of money—but how do they store it?
As the funds are illicit, officials know better than to save the money in banks, so they’ve become very creative in how they hide their stash.
The topic surfaced when a piece of news recently went viral in China. In Harbin City, in the northernmost Heilongjiang Province, a local resident who was renovating his house discovered loads of cash hidden in the walls. The previous homeowner had stowed away 140 million yuan (about $21.7 million), leading many netizens to assume he was a corrupt official.
Local authorities quelled the internet rumors by claiming that the money was connected to a scam case that local police were investigating.
But netizens may not be far off the mark, as officials have been caught secretly hoarding their spoils.
Last September, the Chinese Communist Party’s anti-corruption agency, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, partnered with state broadcaster CCTV to air a special segment on corruption. It revealed how a Party cadre and former chairman of Chinese carmaker FAW Group, Xu Jianyi, hid his valuables in order to escape authorities. He placed his watches and gold bars inside tea canisters and tried to hide in a tree in his villa when he learned that the agency was coming for him.