More details surfaced yesterday about an anti-graft investigation of a deputy party secretary in Sichuan, with mainland media reporting that he was implicated by a Chengdu businessman who is also under party investigation and by a jailed former deputy party secretary in Heilongjiang.
Li Chuncheng, 56, was taken away late on Sunday by party disciplinary inspectors, and provincial-level officials in Sichuan were briefed about the investigation, Caijing Magazine reports.
Li did not attend an important provincial party meeting on Tuesday, and he reportedly hadn't been seen in public since November 19. He is believed to be the first ministerial-level official to be investigated following last month's 18th party congress, when Li was named an alternate member of the party's central committee.
Caijing reported that the investigation into Li may be linked to businessman Dai Xiaoming, the chairman of the state-owned Chengdu Industry Investment Group who was taken away in August for an internal party investigation.
Dai had not been charged, but he reportedly told authorities about illegal actions and disciplinary violations by other officials, according to Caijing.
Li was appointed deputy mayor of Chengdu in 1998, became mayor in 2001 and was later named party chief of the city.
Dai worked under Li while in various positions - as party secretary of Qingbaijiang district, director of the Chengdu Economic and Information Commission and then as chairman of the Chengdu Industry Investment Group.
The magazine also reported that Li's failure to be named an alternate member of the party's central committee five years ago, after being selected as an alternate during the previous congress, was probably due to his involvement in a case involving Han Guizhi.
Han is a former deputy party secretary of Heilongjiang who received a suspended death sentence in 2005 for taking bribes in exchange for promoting officials.
Shen Yong, a former deputy chief of the Public Security Bureau in Jinniu district, Chengdu, made a microblog post on Tuesday saying that Li had bribed Han several times for promotions in the early 1990s.
Li spent most of his time from the 1970s to 1998 in the provincial capital, Harbin , first as a student and then in various positions, including deputy mayor.