A Chinese Official’s Diary of Daily Corruption Leads to 29 Arrests

April 6, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

In China, 28 officials have been disciplined and one awaits sentencing—all due to one man’s diaries.

Authorities in the city of Dezhou, Shandong Province announced on April 2 that the efforts of Zhang Leida had helped them break the case wide open, according to Chinese state media.

Zhang, the general manager of Dezhou Fuyuan Biological Starch Co., Ltd—an agricultural food production company—kept detailed records of officials who accepted cash, shopping gift cards, special local products, and other items from him as kickbacks.

After Zhang’s 20-odd raw diary entries were published online in November last year, Dezhou’s anti-corruption investigators set up a taskforce to look into these allegations.

Upon reviewing financial records and bank account transactions in each case, they said they established the veracity of Zhang’s “bribery diaries.” In total, 19 city-level and 12 county-level officials were identified and made to hand over all bribes they received, according to the Dezhou report. It is unclear what became of Zhang, who made the bribes.

The “bribery diaries” also alerted officials in Shandong, who then moved on Song Zhenxing, the former financial secretary and vice chairman of the People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Pingyuan County of Shandong.

A Chinese court found Song guilty of receiving over four million yuan ($650,882) in bribes between 2006 and 2009, and sentenced him to 14 years in prison on April 3.

Lu Chen contributed reporting.

*diary from Shutterstock