A high-flying regional Communist Party official who was expelled from the party last month for allegedly supporting crypto miners has been arrested. Meanwhile, individuals are being caught sending money abroad using crypto.
Per the Epoch Times and the Xinhua news agency, Xiao Yi, the former Vice Chairman of the Jiangxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – a man once tipped for great things in the Chinese political sphere – is now behind bars.
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s equivalent to the Prosecutor General’s Office in the United States, was handed Xiao Yi’s case after the CCP found evidence that he had “taken bribes and abused his power.”
As reported, the CCP claimed that Xiao Yi had been “supporting” crypto mining in exchange for bribes and sex, and had attended orgiastic parties thrown by individuals, mining pools, or companies – likely in return for allowing them to continue their activities.
A number of ostensible “Big Data”-related firms have traditionally conducted crypto mining-related activities under the guise of Industry 4.0-related research, often with the aid of obliging (and corrupt) officials. But since September’s crackdown, Beijing has been trying to stamp this out.
The government is thought to be hoping to make an example of Xiao Yi, who has now been arrested, the Procuratorate announced. His case is “being further processed,” Xinhua noted, but harsh penalties including hard labor or life imprisonment are not out of the question.
The CCP began investigating the case back in May this year, and has sacked seven other officials as part of a crackdown on corruption – however, Xiao Yi is the first to be accused of crypto mining-related offenses, and is arguably the most senior of the bunch.
Meanwhile, the Chinese media has also been reporting on individuals being caught sending money abroad using crypto. Per the People’s Daily, the government and bodies such as the central People’s Bank of China are ramping up their monitoring of “foreign exchange market” trading and vowed to “severely crack down on the illegal trading of funds” used in “cross-border gambling” and “speculation”- including crypto.
The national foreign exchange regulator has also identified “cases of illegal cross-border transfer of funds using virtual currencies,” as well as individuals trying to avoid detection by using “fourth-party” over-the-counter payment platforms to buy and sell coins.
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