Le journal britannique Telegraph nous apprend que l’argent destiné aux victimes du séisme du Sichuan en Chine en mai 2008 a été utilisé par les fonctionnaires locaux corrompus pour acheter des véhicules de luxe. Quelqu’un est surpris?
Sichuan earthquake relief money spent on luxury cars
Officials in Sichuan province have outraged donors by buying a series of luxury cars while millions of refugees face freezing temperatures in makeshift shelters.
Almost every Chinese person donated money in the wake of the Sichuan earthquake last May in a display of charity that unified the country. The disaster claimed the lives of more than 87,000 people and was the deadliest earthquake to strike China for half-a-century.
However, there is growing evidence that a large slice of their pledges has been siphoned off or misused by local officials.
According to China’s National Audit Office, there have been close to 2,000 complaints of corrupt behaviour. Some local officials exaggerated the death tolls in their counties in order to grab a larger share of relief aid. In Chongzhou City, the tourism bureau and transport department filed their paperwork twice in order to win 1.23 billion yuan (£123m) of additional aid.
The latest outrage came when a full inventory of the luxury cars purchased by Beichuan County was leaked onto the internet. Beichuan was totally destroyed and 3,000 of its residents have been consigned to temporary shelter for the next three years while a new site is chosen for their town.
According to the inventory, a number of top-of-the-range Toyota Land Cruisers and Nissan X-Trails were purchased, one of which cost over 1.1 million yuan (£110,000).
« Have you donated money for the earthquake yet? Are Beichuan’s disaster victims all going to to get through winter with warmth? These we have no way of knowing, but what we know is that Beichuan’s ‘civil servants’ and ‘official bosses’ are doing very well, » wrote one anonymous internet commentator.
« With almost every model, higher-end versions were chosen. For example, a Toyota Prado was purchased with a navigation system. The earthquake must have ruined the geography so much the leaders can no longer remember the roads, » he added.
A spokesman for Beichuan council said the cars were bought through a « standard procedure » and that « the purchases will not be cancelled because of public pressure. » He added that the cars were « emergency communication command cars, not business cars » and that the mountainous area made it impossible to use normal cars.
The scandal broke as Wen Jiabao, the Chinese prime minister, visited the earthquake zone in the run-up to Chinese New Year.