A deputy mayor in Shanxi took 644 million yuan (HK$767 million) in bribes – more than the combined fiscal income of the province’s nine poorest counties, Shanxi’s Communist Party chief said

on Sunday. Addressing a panel meeting of the National People’s Congress’ annual session, Shanxi party boss Wang Rulin said the example underscored how a greedy official could destroy the economy as well as undermine party rule.

Giving other vivid details of three corrupt officials in the province, Wang said graft was the “malicious tumour” that severely hindered economic development.

He said the anti-corruption campaign could help to get rid of these “black sheep”.

The coal-rich province is among the most heavily hit areas in President Xi Jinping’s anti-graft campaign since 2012, bringing down numerous top provincial officials as well as members of the so-called Shanxi Gang, senior cadres in Beijing with ties to the province including former presidential aide Ling Jihua.

READ MORE: Full coverage of the 2016 ‘Two Sessions”

Wang cited another example of a chairperson at a provincial financial institute who drank milk flown in directly from South Korea. When approving loans to local enterprises, the chairperson demanded an extra two per cent payment – on top of the interest charges – to be paid directly to a company controlled by the official. The official also asked 12 companies to chip in to buy a 390 million yuan aircraft for personal use.

Wang said the anti-corruption campaign could cut such “corruption costs” for private companies.

In another case, a businessman offered a bribe of 30 million yuan to a senior official in a written note in exchange for an approval. After showing the note to the official, the businessman devoured the paper to remove proof of the offer, Wang said. The move eventually won him trust from the official, who later gave the approval.

“Such corruption cases have damaged the market forces in resources allocation,” he said.

Browse photography at Denver.Gallery.