China to combat money laundering

China will boost scrutiny of real estate, securities and jewelry transactions to combat money laundering as part of its campaign to rein in corruption, state media said Friday.

The official China Daily said Cai Yilan, deputy director of the anti-money-laundering unit at the state-run People's Bank of China, revealed Thursday that policing efforts will be extended to include the insurance, securities and real estate industries, as well as to the sale of precious jewelry.

Previous anti-money-laundering work had focused on banks. Speaking to an anti-corruption conference in Beijing, Cai said efforts to stem money laundering were a vital part in the war on corruption, China Daily reported.

Citing official statistics, China Daily said that China's 17 commercial banks have made more than 650,000 reports of suspicious transactions involving the equivalent of some US$108 billion (Ђ89 billion) since the central bank established an anti-money laundering unit in April 2004.

About 1,500 of the cases were handed over to authorities for investigation, it said. Fueled by sizzling economic growth rates, corruption is rampant in China, and for years the central government has vowed to do more to stamp it out.

President Hu Jintao and other top Chinese leaders have repeatedly warned that rising public anger at graft involving government officials could threaten the Communist Party's hold on power.

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