A Chinese work safety official nicknamed “Brother Watch” for his collection of luxury timepieces, as spotted by ‘netizens’ in news photos, has gone on trial on corruption charges.
State media said Yang Dacai, former director of the work safety bureau for Shaanxi province in central China, appeared in a court on Friday on charges of taking 250-thousand yuan (40-thousand US dollars) in bribes and having bank deposits of 5.04 million yuan (US $820,000) from dubious sources.
Yang’s downfall came after he was photographed smiling at the scene of a highway accident that killed 36 people last summer.
Irked by the smile, Chinese netizens (a portmanteau of ‘internet’ and ‘citizens’) scrutinised the wristwatches Yang had worn in several news photos, nicknamed him “Brother Watch,” and demanded explanations for how he could afford such luxury.
Authorities later opened an investigation into Yang.
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