Chinese official allegedly hides $33M in bribes

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Investigators in China have found more than 200 million yuan ($33 million) in cash at the home of an energy official accused of bribe-taking, in the country's largest cash seizure ever, a senior prosecutor said Friday.

If all that money was in 100-yuan notes, China's largest cash denomination, it would pile 750 feet high -- more than two-thirds the height of the Eiffel Tower.

Xu Jinhui, a top anti-graft prosecutor, told reporters the cash was seized at the home of Wei Pengyuan, deputy chief of the coal bureau under the National Energy Administration. Wei is under investigation for alleged corruption.

Investigators wore out four of the 16 cash-counting machines brought in to measure the stash, financial news publication Ciaxin reported.

The amount was impressive even in the context of the enormous amounts of cash Chinese investigators routinely seize from officials suspected of corruption. Bribe-takers have been inclined to stash cash in safety boxes, toilets, inside pillows, at the bottom of rice containers and in rented apartments to avoid leaving any records of the ill-gotten money.