China is preparing to establish a ‘super’ anti-graft bureau that will investigate high-ranking officials suspected of corruption, Procurator-General Cao Jianming said in an interview with the China Daily newspaper.
The plan for the bureau has already been approved by the central government, said Mr Cao, who heads the country’s Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
The new bureau will be staffed by several dozen experienced senior prosecutors and will strengthen the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s anti-corruption capacities, officials told China Daily.
The bureau will first investigate suspects of corruption before their cases are passed to procuratorates, the newspaper reported.
The high-level office will merge with existing bodies and be established at vice-ministerial level, a higher level than a regular bureau, according to officials from the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. But they said it might take several months to hammer out the details before the bureau can be set up.
A number of reports have suggested that the corruption crackdown in mainland China is likely to be the main driver of the decline in gaming revenue in Macau since June last year.
Beijing’s plan to set a new high-level anti-corruption office was first mentioned late last year. The move was seen as an “institutionalisation of the anti-corruption drive,” consultancy Union Gaming Research Macau Ltd said in a note in November.
On Sunday, China’s Premier Li Keqiang told reporters that corrupt officials would be held accountable for incompetence or inaction. A national anti-corruption campaign has “yielded good results,” he said at his annual nationally televised briefing at the close of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing.
Li Gang, director of the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macau, last week had said measures were in place to monitor government officials who head for Macau to gamble.
“Because of measures taken by Macau’s gambling industry, if such officials go gambling in Macau, they will be discovered,” Li Gang told the Beijing News.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia