One of China’s top bankers took millions of dollars’ worth of bribes and kept them in a Beijing apartment he compared to a “supermarket,” according to Bloomberg.
Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of China Huarong Asset Management — one of the country’s biggest banks — confessed to accepting and stashing the illicit cash in a state TV documentary broadcast this week, Bloomberg reported. Officials discovered more than 200 million yuan ($29 million) in cash packed into metal cabinets in his apartment.
“I got the money and just left it there, just like making regular trips to the supermarket,” Lai said in the documentary. “I didn’t spend a cent. It’s all confiscated in the end.”
Lai, an ex-employee of China’s central bank and banking regulator, was labeled the nation’s most corrupt financial official during the program, Bloomberg said. He has been charged with a laundry list of crimes including corruption, taking bribes, and bigamy — marrying someone while already married.
Chinese authorities detained Lai in 2018 and accused him of taking about $239 million in bribes, Bloomberg said, citing people familiar with the matter. He also owned numerous properties, expensive cars, luxury watches, gold, and art.