Fwd: Three Gorges Dam Hit by 600 Million-Dollar Graft Scam

Doug Henwood dhenwood at panix.com
Mon Jan 24 13:42:15 PST 2000

[from the International Rivers Network]

Date: Mon, 24 Jan 2000 13:06:55 -0800 (PST) From: owner-irn-three-gorges at netvista.net Subject: Three Gorges Dam Hit by 600 Million-Dollar Graft Scam

Three Gorges Dam Hit By 600 Million-Dollar Graft Scam

BEIJING, Jan 21, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Corrupt officials have embezzled five billion yuan (600 million dollars) set aside to relocate people out of the path of China's Three Gorges Dam project, state media reported Friday.

"Five billion yuan for resettlement of residents in the Three Gorges Dam area was embezzled. Fourteen people were involved," the People's Daily said, giving no further details.

The huge scam -- revealed by auditor general Li Jinhua as part of the 125 billion yuan of state funds embezzled last year -- represents around 12 percent of the budget of 40 billion yuan set aside to relocate 1.2 million people at the dam site.

It is the first time that details of corruption ensnaring the huge project have been revealed.

The report also showed that the Ministry of Water Resources, which is in charge of the dam project, "illegally raised" three billion yuan which was later "misused".

The 200 billion yuan (27 billion dollar) dam project -- destined to become the world's largest hydroelectric dam when it is completed in 2009 -- has been beset by a series of financial, environmental and social problems.

Many people living in the area are reluctant to leave the banks of the Yangtze River to make way for the 632 square kilometer (252 square mile) reservoir, while experts have questioned the financial logic of the project and warned of a damaging impact on the environment.

((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)

International Rivers Network 1847 Berkeley Way Berkeley, CA 94703 threegorges at irn.org http://www.irn.org tel: 510.848.1155 ext. 317 fax: 510.848.1008

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