Former State tobacco official gets life imprisonment for bribery

(      Updated : 2020-06-19

Zhao Hongshun, former deputy head of the State Tobacco Monopoly Administration, was sentenced to life imprisonment, deprived of political rights for life and had all his personal property confiscated for taking bribes worth over 90 million yuan ($12.7 million) on June 18.

The Huai'an Intermediate People's Court in East China's Jiangsu province issued the verdict, saying the money involved in Zhao's case will be turned over to the State treasury. Zhao said in court he would obey the verdict and will not appeal.

Zhao took advantage of his positions, such as deputy director and deputy head of the Economic Operation Department of the tobacco monopoly administration, and deputy director of the Anhui Provincial Tobacco Monopoly Administration to assist individuals and companies in contracts related to the printing of cigarette labels, tobacco advertising business and personal promotion from 2002 to 2018. In return, Zhao received over 90.32 million yuan.

Zhao was placed under investigation by China's top graft watchdogs in February 2019. He was expelled from the Party and removed from public positions and arrested in July. In September 2019, Zhao was charged with bribery.