The universal culture of official corruption in China continues unabated, notwithstanding stiff sentences being handed down, by the authorities. Ling Jihua, a former Presidential Aide, was given a life sentence this week, following a closed-door trial. Ling, who reportedly accepted bribes in excess of $11m, was also charged with Abuse of Power, and the illegal possession of State Secrets, meaning classified information.
Allegedly a close associate of the disgraced, and now imprisoned, senior official, Bo Xilai, who also was sentenced to life in prison, Ling is the third high-ranking government official to receive a life sentence, indicating that deterrence has become a primary goal of China, where most objective observers believe that runaway official corruption is completely out of control.
When deciding whether to onboard an affluent individual who is possibly a Chinese PEP, it has now reached the point where you must presume PEP status, unless and until you can rule it out. That means Enhanced Due diligence, monitoring of account activity, and searching for any information that will confirm the client's specific relationships with senior government officials who have access to government funds, or who award lucrative government business to vendors, when ruling on whether to reject the customer.