Ex-bank official buys properties worth 1b yuan using fake ID

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 4:23pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 February, 2013, 8:43pm

The state banking watchdog is launching an investigation into a former Shanxi bank official after she was accused of using a double residence loophole to buy properties worth millions of yuan, the Beijing Times reported on Saturday.

Gong Aiai, a former Shenmu County Rural Commercial Bank deputy governor, registered two sets of hukou (household registration permit) to purchase 20 properties in Beijing worth about one billion yuan (HK$1.24 billion).

The Shanxi office of the China Banking Regulatory Commission's office is investigating while police have revoked Gong's ID and hukou.

A statement released by the police station which handled her registration admitted to “negligence” while processing Gong’s documents. 

Gong, a 49-year-old divorcee, said she had invested in multiple properties in the interests of her two children studying in Beijing. She claimed to have created the second ID out of superstition under the name Gong Xianxia, after consulting a Taoist priest.

Gong has denied claims of corruption and said all her properties were purchased legitimately using profits from her family’s coal business.

She left her post at the Shenmu bank last June because of "health and family reasons" and to focus on running the family business.

Netizens have criticised Gong, billing her as another of China’s many “property aunts and uncles” – a term used to describe corrupt Chinese officials who accumulate large property portfolios.

“The rich live in houses they can never finish living in, while the poor have no place to live at all. How is this news in China?” wrote one user on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like microblogging site.

“There is no such thing as coincidence for China, only deliberately arranged coincidence,” said another, referring to the Shenmu police’ alleged blunder.