Chinese police boss jailed for buying Australian property with graft money

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - A Chinese court has sentenced a senior police officer to 17 years in prison for his part in a bribes-for-projects scandal, proceeds from which were used to buy two homes in Australia, according to court documents.

The corruption case comes amid an Australian government crackdown on foreign investors who have skirted overseas investment rules.

The 59-year-old police boss of Guta district of Jinzhou City in the north-eastern Chinese province of Liaoning accepted a total of 6.8 million yuan (S$1.38 million) in bribes for contracts, according to the court documents published in early March.

He used part of the money to buy two Australian properties for his family.

In 2009, Wang accepted a bribe of 2.36 million yuan from a developer to buy a property in Australia for his eldest daughter. He accepted a second bribe of 4 million yuan from the same person in 2013 to buy a second house for his second daughter, the court said.

Wang doled out construction projects in return for the bribes, it said.

The use of loopholes in Australian property rules by foreign investors has left the country grappling with the politically sensitive issue of unaffordable homes and a surge of cash from wealthy Chinese that has prompted regulators to consider tighter anti-money laundering rules.