Former Henan housing official's family had 29 homes

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 06 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 06 January, 2013, 4:46am

A former housing official in Henan province is under investigation after allegations that his family owned 29 apartments were corroborated by the district government, Xinhua reported yesterday.

Prosecutors in the capital Zhengzhou will investigate Zhai Zhenfeng, the former director of the housing administration bureau in the city's Erqi district, Xinhua said. The allegations, from a whistle-blower, were first posted on a microblog two weeks ago, the agency said.

Similar online revelations in recent months have brought down government officials who maintained extramarital affairs, bought property and luxury items or abused their power.

Xi Jinping, the new head of the Communist Party, warned top leaders in November that corruption could kill the party and ruin the country, the official China Daily reported at the time.

Zhai was removed from his post in September 2011 for offences including seeking profits for his family, Xinhua said.

Among details of his family's property dealings posted online were his daughter's ownership of 11 apartments and two identity cards, revelations that "sparked outrage" online, Xinhua said.

In a separate report yesterday, state television said the daughter's properties were purchased when Zhai was head of the housing department between January 2002 and September 2010.

Four members of Zhai's family had a total of eight identity cards, with four registered in other provinces or cities, CCTV said. Chinese citizens can legally have only one identity card.

Xi has intensified a crackdown on corruption and ordered officials to abandon extravagance, cut down on lavish ceremonies and live more frugally, as part of a broader push to win back people's trust.

Li Chuncheng, a deputy party secretary of Sichuan province, became the first minister-level official to be investigated following a once-a-decade power transfer to new leadership in November.