Sometimes the extent of corruption in communist China seems almost unbelievable…
A teacher, a jail guard, and a village official in Sichuan Province created fake graves to defraud the local government of money via its grave relocation compensation program.
In China, development trumps everything else because statistics are what matter to local authorities in the economic war among fellow provinces and cities. Facilities and land must make way in the name of development, and local people are only compensated according to a pre-set amount.
A local resident of Wong Village noticed that the number of graves there increased all of a sudden in 2013. The reason? A highway was zoned in the vicinity of the village, with piles drilled and foundation work completed by May, so villagers had to start moving.
Meanwhile, the corrupt trio had hired villagers to dig “new graves” in the area for them, paying women $100, and men $150 a day.
With grave relocation compensation being $1,500 for a regular grave or $2,000 for a grave with headstone, local authorities provided $615,500 for these so-called grave relocations of which the gang got more than $155,000.
Villagers reported the fraud last year, and a case was opened in February this year.
Nine people were charged after the investigation revealed that of the 166 graves filed for relocation compensation, 52 were fake, 17 were unidentified, and 15 were falsely reported or counted twice.