Chapter 291 – Innocent!
Morning. 10 am.
Yan Tai County’s Commission for Discipline Inspection building. An old Santana entered the compound with Dong Xuebing.
This is the first time Dong Xuebing enter the Commission for Discipline Inspection building since he was transferred to Yan Tai County, and he looks around curiously after he alighted. He had wanted to call his mother to inform her that he will not be visiting her at the hospital today. Still, He was stopped by the two Commission for Discipline Inspection officers. They escorted Dong Xuebing into the building and entered a small room on the second floor.
There is only a table, a few chairs, and a table lamp in the room.
This place gave Dong Xuebing the same feeling as the Public Security Bureau’s interrogation room.
After Dong Xuebing sat down, one of the officers sat opposite him, while the other officer went out to look for someone.
Dong Xuebing had not been investigated by the Commission for Discipline Inspection before. Still, he knew they should be investigating him for corruption and bribery. If they have evidence against Dong Xuebing, they would have put him into custody. But from the expressions and actions of the two Commission for Discipline Inspection officers, they should not have the evidence yet. However, this is also not a normal questioning session. The normal questioning session will normally take place after working hours or at the person’s workplace together with his supervisors and colleagues. This means that the Commission for Discipline Inspection does not have enough evidence to charge Dong Xuebing but is not far from it.
Xiang Daofa is determined to touch Dong Xuebing! How can you be so sure that I had received bribes?
Dong Xuebing sneered in his heart. Luckily, before he returns to Yan Tai County, he had made preparations. If not, he will be caught off guard.
At the same time.
County Government’s building. Hu Silian knocked and entered Xie Huilan’s office, panicking.
“Mayor Xie, Chief Dong had been brought away by the Commission for Discipline Inspection.”
Xie Huilan’s hand shook and looks up. “… when did it happen?”
“About five minutes ago. The Commission for Discipline Inspection went to the hospital to bring him back.”
“Ok. I know.” Xie Huilan narrowed her eyes and continued with her work, without saying anything.
Hu Silian looked at Mayor Xie and wanted to say something. But in the end, she did not say anything and left. Dong Xuebing had helped Hu Silian to become the Mayor’s Secretary after she was forced to resign from the Public Security. That’s why she is worried about him. She knows that if Party Secretary Xiang and the Commission for Discipline Inspection want to investigate against Dong Xuebing, it will be hard for him to escape. Just Dong Xuebing’s Mercedes MPV is worth more than 1 million RMB. How is he going to explain that? Borrowed? As long as the assets are from unknown sources, there is no way he can explain himself!
News of Dong Xuebing being brought away by the Commission for Discipline Inspection spreads.
Everyone knows that this is Party Secretary Xiang’s revenge against Dong Xuebing.
Public Security’s Executive Deputy Bureau Chief Hu Yiguo, Meng Xianglin, who was still undergoing treatment in the hospital, Investment Promotion Agency Deputy Chief Lui Dafa, Ministry of Education Director Yu Zhengzhi, etc. were all celebrating. The ones who were close to Dong Xuebing were worried. Hui Tian Village Station Chief Liu Dahai and other officers were furious. Chief Dong had done so much for the County, and you, Xiang Daofa, had benefited from it. Now, you are trying to frame Chief Dong because of a failed investment?! You are so petty-minded! What’s wrong with upholding the law? How can someone who made significant arrests violate the law? If all the higher-ups behave like you, who will still do his best at work? This is a disappointment!
Everyone felt Chief Dong is finished this time.
Commission for Discipline Inspection Building.
Two minutes later, a balding man in his forties, entered the room with a few men behind him.
Dong Xuebing recognized this person. Although he had not spoken to him before, he saw him at the County Party Committee and County Government buildings. Duan Zhengan, Yan Tai County Party Committee member and Secretary for Commission for Discipline Inspection. When Chang Lei was still the former Party Secretary, Dong Xuebing heard rumors that Duan Zhengan is from his faction. Although he did not show his support for Chang Lei openly, he always supported Party Secretary Chang’s decision on promotions and important decisions. After Xiang Daofa becomes the Party Secretary, Duan Zhengan becomes closer to him. But Dong Xuebing had not heard of Duan Zhengan falling out with Xie Huilan.
“Secretary Duan.” Dong Xuebing greeted him.
Duan Zhengan nodded and sat down opposite Dong Xuebing with a stern look and start flipping the document in front of him.
The other officers from the Commission for Discipline Inspection also sat down, facing Dong Xuebing.
Dong Xuebing does not have a good impression of Duan Zhengan. The Commission for Discipline Inspection Secretary is doing the questioning himself, and this means they are determined to charge Dong Xuebing. County’s Party Secretary Xiang Daofa and County’s Secretary for Commission for Discipline Inspection Duan Zhengan, are the top leaders in the County. Dong Xuebing suddenly felt he had become a bigshot as all the top leaders in the County are joining forces to deal with him, a low-ranking Deputy Section Chief!
The room becomes silent for a few minutes.
An old-fashioned looking man looks at Duan Zhengan. “Secretary Duan…”
“Xiao Li.” Duan Zhengan said without raising his head. “You can start.”
“Yes.” Xiao Li took a deep breath and stared at Dong Xuebing. “Chief Dong, we had invited you here to investigate your finances.”
Dong Xuebing laughed. “Is this mandatory?”
“Fine. Just ask what you want, but I need to say something first.”
“Huh?” Xiao Li looks at Dong Xuebing.
Dong Xuebing calmly replied. “My mother is old and has poor health. Two days ago, she was knocked down by a car and threatened by someone, causing her to suffer a heart attack. I do not want to let my mother know about this as she might be…” Dong Xuebing paused for a second and continued. “You all can investigate me, but don’t bother my mother and do it secretly, alright?”
Xiao Li turns to look at Duan Zhengan. By right, the Commission for Discipline Inspection officers should be questioning Luan Xiaoping. Still, they know about Luan Xiaoping’s health issues. She had just undergone surgery and is still in danger.
Duan Zhengan nodded.
Dong Xuebing said. “Thank you. Ok. What do you all want to know?”
One Commission for Discipline Inspection officer took out his pen and notebook to record the questioning session.
Xiao Li took a glance at the document in front and asked. “First, we want to understand about your salary. How much is your monthly salary?”
“You all should know even without me answering. All Deputy Section Chiefs’ salaries are about the same, and you can find out with just a phone call.” Dong Xuebing crossed his legs and answered. “After taxes and adding all the allowances, my monthly income is around 4,000. Do you want me to include the rewards? Other than the rewards from my unit, I had solved a few major cases, and the Province and County had given me some rewards. The most I had gotten is tens of thousands.”
Xiao Li continued. “That means your annual income is around 50,000, right?”
Dong Xuebing frowned. “You are rounding it down. Comrade, even if you are not a leader, you should also know that monthly salary with allowances multiple by twelve is not equivalent to the annual salary. I said that other than the rewards from the cases I solved, there are still rewards and bonuses from the unit. If you want to talk about annual income, it should be around 80,000 to 90,000 RMB.” Yan Tai County might be poor, and government servants are not getting salaries as high as those in Beijing, their salaries are still higher than many other counties.
Xiao Li continued. “What is your annual income when you are with the State Security?”
“This is confidential in State Security.” Dong Xuebing said. “But I am no longer with the State Security, and it’s fine to talk about it. Before I was promoted to Deputy Chief of my department, my salary is around 2,000. After I got promoted to be the Deputy Chief of the General Affairs Office, my salary is slightly more than 3,000 RMB monthly.” Xiao Li nodded and wrote something in his notebook. They had investigated, and Dong Xuebing is not lying.
Dong Xuebing looks at his watch. “Let’s not waste time asking something you all already know and get straight to the point. I still have a meeting in the afternoon.”
“Ok.” Xiao Li said. “From our calculations, your income since you graduated until now, should be around 100,000 RMB.”
“I think so.”
“Can you explain where you got that Mercedes MPV with the top options?”
Dong Xuebing shrugged his shoulders. “That belongs to my friend, and I had borrowed it.”
“She can be considered a relative. When I was still living in Beijing, she is my neighbor, and we are very close to one family. You all can go and check the ownership of this Mercedes. This car is registered under Yun De Auction Company, and not bought by me. I still need to return the car to her.”
Xiao Li looks at Dong Xuebing. “Why did she lend you such an expensive car?”
“Didn’t I say we are like a family? What’s wrong with lending me a car?”
“What about your watch?” Xiao Li took out a photograph. It was taken secretly without Dong Xuebing’s knowledge, and his diamond-studded watch is shown clearly. “Someone sent this photograph reporting against you, and we have verified this is a Patek Philippe watch worth almost 2 million RMB. Where did you get this watch from? Your income cannot afford this watch.”
Dong Xuebing replied nonchalantly. “The watch also belongs to the same friend who runs the Auction Company, and I had borrowed it.”
“… It is not given to you by someone?” Xiao Li asked.
Dong Xuebing laughed. “I know you want me to say it is given by someone. But sorry to disappoint you.”
The Commission for Discipline Inspection officers questioned Dong Xuebing about his jade pendant and ring, which are worth a few hundred thousand. But Dong Xuebing insisted these items are all borrowed from his friend. He had bought these items with his money but was forced to claim these were all borrowed, as he cannot say he got his money from stone gambling and Chicken Bloodstone mine. Also, he had not paid taxes for the money he earned from selling antiques and stone gambling. If anyone wants to frame him, his money will be considered illicit gains.
The Commission for Discipline Inspection officers asked a few more questions and recorded Dong Xuebing’s replies normally. But Dong Xuebing knew this is only the start, and their men should be checking his bank account now.
About ten minutes later, a man entered the room.
That man said something to Duan Zhengan and other Commission for Discipline Inspection officers and gave them a file.
Duan Zhengan read the document and nodded, before passing it to Xiao Li.
Xiao Li took a look at the document and said. “We had contacted the bank and your mother. You have over 300,000 RMB in your account, and your mother, Luan Xiaoping, has more than 100,000 RMB in her account. The total amount of money in both accounts is around 500,000 RMB. Chief Dong, with your family conditions, your mother and you should not have so much money legally. Where did the money come from?”
Dong Xuebing smacked his lips. “Don’t accuse me of anything. Why can’t I get the money legally?”
Xiao Li continued. “Based on our investigations, your family is not wealthy you’re your mother, and you were living in Beijing. When your father passes away, you all sold your house to pay for his medical fees. Also, your mother’s monthly salary is less than 2,000, and your past one year’s income is around 100,000 RMB. How can you have 500,000 RMB in you and your mother’s account? Also, we found out that your helper, Yu Meixia, was broke in the past. But now, she has an apartment worth a few hundred thousand under her name. Where did she get the money to buy that apartment?”
Dong Xuebing narrowed his eyes. He did not expect the Commission for Discipline Inspection to be so detailed. “What do you think?”
Xiao Li replied. “You had paid for Yu Meixia’s apartment, and the money is from receiving bribes and corruption. This is our assumption, and we want you to explain where you get this sum of money.”
“Bribes and corruption?!” Dong Xuebing laughed. “You all are imaginative.”
Xiao Li had worked in the Commission for Discipline Inspection department for many years and had never met anyone like Dong Xuebing. They had found his money, and Dong Xuebing can still laugh about it? “Chief Dong, I hope you can ask our questions truthfully. The evidence we got is only a small part, and our men are still investigating. I believe it is a matter of time before we find concrete evidence.”
Dong Xuebing replied. “Based on your assumption, who bribed me, and how was I bribed?”
Xiao Li replied. “We are the ones asking you!”
Dong Xuebing calmly replied. “You all can go and check. During festivals, when did I receive gifts worth over 2,000 RMB? When did I make use of my birthday to receive any gifts when I am in Yan Tai County? I did not even celebrate my birthday! How are other people going to bribe me?” Although Dong Xuebing cannot explain his income, he draws a clear line from corruption and bribery. He has a clear conscience, and no one had tried to bribe him too. Dong Xuebing is only overseeing Hui Tian Village Station and has the smallest authority in the County’s Public Security Bureau. He is also ranked in the last position among the rest of the deputies. Even if anyone wants to seek help, they will not look for him.
Twenty minutes later.
Duan Zhengan’s phone rang. He looked at his phone before walking out of the room to answer it. “Hello, Party Secretary Xiang.”
Xiang Daofa asked. “Has he plead guilty?”
“Not yet. I don’t think we can get anything useful out from him.” Duan Zhengan said. “But we should have enough evidence as Dong Xuebing refuses to explain where his money comes from. He kept beating around the bushes and questioning us back. This is too suspicious, and I think we can charge him for corruption and bribery when we got concrete evidence.”
Xiang Daofa nodded. “Continue with the investigations!”
County Mayor’s Office.
Xie Huilan called Hu Silian into her office. “How long has it been since Xiao Dong is brought into the Commission for Discipline Inspection?”
“It’s about… two hours…” Hu Silian replied worryingly. “Will he…”
Xie Huilan laughed and shook her head. “This guy is really enjoying being investigated. Just ignore him and just let him remain there!”
Not only Xie Huilan is calm about this, but even Dong Xuebing is also showing a relaxed composure in the Commission for Discipline Inspection.
Duan Zhengan and the other officers from the Commission for Discipline Inspection were frustrated. Why is Dong Xuebing not nervous at all?
Bribery and corruption charges?
Duan Zhengan frowned and sensed something is not right.
Suddenly, someone entered the room with a document. “We discovered a few transactions in Chief Dong’s account. Most of the transactions are in small amounts, but one of the transactions is quite big.”
Duan Zhengan was startled. “How much?”
That man replied. “Around 4 million RMB.”
The rest of the officers took in a deep breath. 4 million? This is a huge amount! There are no cases involving such a high amount in more than ten years!
Duan Zhengan continued to ask. “Where did this sum of money come from?”
That man replied with a weird expression. “It is transferred from Beijing Welfare Lottery Center.”
“What?” Duan Zhengan and the other officers were stunned.
That man replied. “We had contacted from Beijing Welfare Lottery Center, and they confirmed that Chief Dong had won the grand prize of their lottery. His winnings are less than 5 million, and after taxes, it is around 4 million RMB.”
Won the lottery?!
Even Duan Zhengan was shocked. He had investigated countless government servants in his career, and this is the first time he encountered something like this.
4 million? If this is true, it will explain the 500,000 RMB in Dong Xuebing’s account. Even if Dong Xuebing did not borrow the Mercedes MPV, Patek Philippe, Jade accessories, and bought it himself, it is not a problem. They have no way to penalize him with this legitimate source of income.
“Are you sure?” Duan Zhengan asked.
That man replied. “We had confirmed this, and the Welfare Lottery Center had checked their records twice.”
Duan Zhengan turns and stares at Dong Xuebing. “Why didn’t you tell us earlier?”
“What do you mean? You all did not ask me about this.” Dong Xuebing waved his hand and replied innocently. “Winning the top prize of the lottery feels too unreal, and until today, I still could not believe that I had won. Hahaha… I remember now. I had bought the PK 10 ticket from a lottery shop along Beijing Heping North Street. Ah… I was too lucky that day and almost forgotten about it if you all did not mention it today.”
Xiao Li almost fell off his chair. Forgotten about it? Bullshit! Who can forget about winning 4 million from the lottery?
Duan Zhengan and the other officers finally realized why Dong Xuebing was not afraid of the start. He had purposely kept quiet about winning the lottery and waste the Commission for Discipline Inspection officers’ time. If Dong Xuebing had told them that the money is from his lottery winnings, they would not waste time checking his bank transactions and verify with the Welfare Lottery Center.
This is making their blood boil!
Xiao Li and the other officers felt like strangling Dong Xuebing!
Duan Zhengan immediately walks out of the room to call Xiang Daofa.
Xiang Daofa paused for more than ten seconds after he heard Duan Zhengan’s report. “Continue with the investigations!”
Duan Zhengan understood what Party Secretary Xiang meant and sighed. He thought for a while and asked his men to investigate Dong Xuebing from other directions. They started investigating all the complaints sent to the Commission for Discipline Inspection in the past year. Dong Xuebing might be rich, but that does not mean he did not receive bribes or committed any offenses. They just need a breakthrough, and they can use it against Dong Xuebing.
Another hour passed.
The Commission for Discipline Inspection officers realized that Chief Dong is too ‘clean’! Although the sayings that all officials are greedy is not true. Still, government officials can’t be so ‘clean,’ but Dong Xuebing is different. He did not celebrate his birthdays, and the gifts he accepted during festivals are all within the authorized amount. Those complaint letters are too vague, and most of them were made up. Dong Xuebing might be rash at work, but those are not serious enough to penalize him.
Dong Xuebing is innocent?
Duan Zhengan becomes quiet.
All the Commission for Discipline Inspection officers cannot accept this outcome. They had assumed Dong Xuebing to be guilty, but he turns out to be innocent.
How can a government official be so clean?
Twenty minutes later.
The door opens, and a Commission for Discipline Inspection officer entered. “Chief Dong, thank you for your cooperation. We had investigated, and the allegations against you are false.”
Dong Xuebing laughed and shook that officer’s hand. “It’s alright. You all are also doing your job. I can understand.”
That officer replied emotionlessly. “The investigation is over, and you can leave now.”
“Oh.” Dong Xuebing stood up and smiled. “I did not drive here, and I don’t know my way back. Can you all dispatch a car to send me back?”
That officer’s brows twitched. “… sure…”
At around 1.30 pm, Dong Xuebing was sent back to the County’s People Hospital.
Everyone who heard of what happened was shocked!
Translator’s notes: How can the Commission for Discipline Inspection officers not find out about the large transactions before he won the lottery? They can find Dong Xuebing guilty by checking the transactions’ dates. Also, he had bought the apartment for Yu Meixia before he won the lottery. Where did he get the money from?