New Shenzhen graft case 'linked to mayor'

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 February, 2011, 12:00am

The deputy head of the political advisory body in Shenzhen, who was put under investigation last week, was allegedly connected to the corruption case involving the city's former mayor, mainland media reported.

The news about the downfall of Huang Zhiguang, vice-chairman of the Shenzhen People's Political Consultative Conference, was made public by, the website of the Communist Party's commission for discipline inspection in Guangdong.

On Friday it said Huang had been placed under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violations', a common euphemism for bribe-taking. - the news portal of the Beijing-based Economic Observer, which is affiliated with the Sanlian Group in Shandong - quoted an unnamed insider yesterday as saying a former government head in Shenzhen's Baoan district was tied to the corruption case of Xu Zongheng, the city's disgraced former mayor, on November 15. That is the same day that Li Lin, former head of the Shenzhen Financial Office, was placed under investigation.

Without giving details, the report added that the investigation of the former Baoan official might put an end to Xu's case.

The disciplinary watchdog detained Li on suspicion of making use of his post to take bribes.

Huang was widely known for boasting of his strong Shenzhen connections, after serving in the city for years. In an unusual move, he was named deputy head of Shenzhen's political advisory body in June after quitting as Shantou's party boss in May. Huang is the second high-ranking official in Guangdong subjected to investigation in the past month, after the detention of Luo Yinguo, the party secretary of Maoming, for alleged bribe-taking in a new spate of crackdowns on corruption in the province.

Chen Shaoji, chairman of the provincial political advisory body, and Xu were detained for suspected involvement in corruption in 2009 - Chen in April and Xu in June.

According to the China Business Journal, Shanxi-based businesswoman Ding Shumiao and ousted railways minister Liu Zhijun had amassed more than 800 million yuan (HK$947 million) by manipulating the tenders for eight railway projects in return for 2.5-4 per cent of the commissions.

Giving no details about how much money Liu had taken in bribes, the report suggested that Liu might be the country's most corrupt official.

A person said to be close to the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection told the newspaper that Ding, who was still under detention and investigation, said that Luo Jinbao, a mid-level railway official, had introduced her to Liu in 1997.

The report also quoted a person familiar with the Railways Ministry as saying that, with Liu's consent and Luo's work, Ding's company earned hundreds of millions of yuan by getting the noise barrier construction contracts for eight railway projects.

Off the tracks

Eight railway tenders were allegedly manipulated to skim off this much in illicit profits: 800m yuan