Three Gorges dam money “missing”

More than US$30 million of funds allocated for residents displaced by China's Three Gorges Dam project has been misappropriated by local authorities, state media has said.

The national audit office said it believed 272 million yuan (US$34.8 million) of 9.6 billion yuan allocated in 2004 and 2005 had been misused by local authorities, Xinhua news agency reported, warning the total figure could be even higher.

The money was used to open local government-run businesses, pay off debts of other local departments, pay staff salaries in administrative departments, build more office buildings and houses for people outside the resettlement project and pay off bank loans, reported the China Daily, citing the audit office.

Some 1.4 million people have been displaced by the massive dam project.

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