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Macau minister jailed for corruption

  • Story Highlights
  • Macau ex-minister jailed for taking tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks
  • Ao Man-long gets 27 years in Chinese enclave's biggest corruption case
  • 51-year-old accused of amassing personal fortune of more than $100 million
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HONG KONG, China (CNN) -- Macau's highest court found a former minister guilty Wednesday of taking tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks in the Chinese gambling enclave's biggest-ever corruption case.

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Ao Man-long was accused of amassing a personal fortune of more than $100 million.

The court sentenced Ao Man-long to 27 years in jail.

Ao, a former transport and public works secretary, was convicted on 40 counts of taking bribes, laundering money and abusing his power to help property developers win lucrative construction deals.

The 51-year-old was accused of amassing a personal fortune of more than $100 million by taking kickbacks for 41 public works projects, including contracts linked to casino construction. The sum is 57 times his family's reported income during his time in office.

Prosecutors said his assets include cash, bank deposits, watches, jewelry and a 300-bottle wine cellar.

"The defendant was one of the top government officials of Macau SAR, the bribes are huge and his behaviour was shocking," Justice Sam Hou-fai, head of the three-judge panel, told the court, according to AFP.

"It created a negative image of Macau abroad and will damage the reputation of Macau and major government officials," he said, describing Ao as "very greedy."

Several members of his close family, including his father and brother, are facing separate charges relating to the corruption. Their trial is ongoing.

Macau, a Chinese territory, is one of the world's largest gaming centers, with gambling revenue surpassing that of the Las Vegas strip in 2006, according to the CIA Factbook. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Andrew Henstock contributed to this report.

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