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Yunnan Tin Chairman Arrested in Bribery Probe, State Media Says

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Oct. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Lei Yi, chairman of the world’s largest producer of refined tin, Yunnan Tin Co., was arrested and charged with accepting 20 million yuan ($3.3 million) in bribes, China’s state-owned Yunnan Info Daily reported.

Lei received bribes from four people, including Li Hongtao, the chairman of Leed International Education Group, the report said. Li paid the bribes in order to secure a majority stake in a private college partially owned by Yunnan Tin, the newspaper reported.

Leed was formed in 2008 as a joint venture between Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Beijing National Education Group, the Financial Times reported yesterday. David Wells, a Goldman spokesman in New York, declined to comment.

The investigation comes amid President Xi Jingping’s campaign to tackle corruption in the communist party. Four PetroChina Co. officials and the company’s former chairman are currently being investigated in the highest-profile case in the anti-graft push.

Lei is under investigation for “severe discipline violation,” Yunnan Tin said in a July 8 filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Goldman made a follow-on $41.5 million investment in 2010 in Leed, according to AsiaLaw Profiles, a law firm ranking publication owned by Euromoney Institutional Investor Plc. The FT didn’t mention the size of Goldman’s stake.

Yunnan Tin is unable to comment, according to an employee who answered the company’s phone number and declined to give her name.

Calls to Cui Zhitao and Ding Shaoxiang, spokesmen for the Yunnan provincial government, went unanswered. No one at Leed’s office in Beijing was available to comment, said an employee who asked not to be identified.

Yunnan Tin fell 3.6 percent, the most in a almost a month, to 13.01 yuan at the close in Shenzhen.

To contact the reporter on this story: Benjamin Haas in Hong Kong at bhaas7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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