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HK court jails former Sinopec adviser for accepting bribes

[HONG KONG] A Hong Kong court sentenced a former consultant for Asia's largest refiner Sinopec Corp to seven months in prison for accepting HK$600,000 (US$77,368) in bribes, the city's graft buster said.

Zhang Guoqiang, 63, a former consultant to Sinopec (Hong Kong) Ltd, a unit of Sinopec Corp, pleaded guilty to the bribery charge and was sentenced by the District Court, the Independent Commission Against Corruption said in a statement on Wednesday.

Zhang worked as vice-chairman of Sinopec (Hong Kong) from late 2007, and he helped two companies related to his younger brother conduct fuel oil trade with and secure contracts from the Sinopec unit in Hong Kong, the statement said.

Zhang Guoqiang retired in May 2012 but was re-employed as an adviser for Sinopec (Hong Kong), which is mainly involved in fuel oil trading and petrol retailing business in the former British colony, according to the statement. He was arrested in January 2014.

In China, Sinopec Corp and its parent Sinopec Group have become a target for a sweeping anti-corruption campaign launched by Chinese president Xi Jinping.

China's anti-corruption watchdog said last month that it had uncovered evidence of graft at Sinopec Group, warning the state-owned oil giant to take strong action to eradicate kickbacks, nepotism and theft.

Some executives at Sinopec Group are suspected of corruption in areas of project construction, supply, sales, joint-ventures, and overseas operations, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) said.

REUTERS