$32.7 Million in Bribes: Official’s Cash Stash Broke 4 Counting Machines

Communist Party official Wei Pengyuan is being investigated for bribery with $32.7 million in cash found at his home. (Screenshot/Caixin)
Communist Party official Wei Pengyuan is being investigated for bribery with $32.7 million in cash found at his home. (Screenshot/Caixin)

A corrupt energy official was busted with over 1 million bank notes hidden in his home—the largest amount seized from one person since the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949.

Wei Pengyuan, ex-deputy head of the coal bureau at China’s National Energy Administration, was put under investigation in May for allegedly accepting bribes.

Authorities confiscated over 200 million yuan in cash ($32.7 million) from his house, according to a top anti-graft prosecutor briefing a press conference on Oct. 31.

Investigators used 16 cash-counting machines (which can count 1,000 bills per minute) to measure the hoard, and four of them burned out, financial magazine Caixin reported.

In China, the largest denomination is the 100-renminbi bill (worth $16.35), and Chinese media estimated that Wei’s haul would’ve weighed more than 1 ton.

If stacked in 100-yuan notes, the stockpile would’ve reached 328 feet high, over one-third the height of the Eiffel Tower!

And according to the Beijing Youth Daily, the notes would’ve stretched 96 miles if laid end to end, which is the length of the capital’s Third and Fifth Ring Roads combined.

Since the start of 2014, over 35,000 Communist Party cadres have been placed under investigation as part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign. Among them are at least 40 senior officials, including former security czar Zhou Yongkang.

Research by Mona

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