Corruption in China

Probe into Guangdong police officer who owns 192 properties

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 February, 2013, 5:26am

A senior Guangdong police officer accused of owning 192 properties in a nearby city is being investigated, the authorities confirmed on Tuesday, a day after a fugitive bank official suspected of using false identification to buy 41 flats in Beijing was detained in Shaanxi .

Zhao Haibin, a senior Public Security Bureau official in Lufeng, Guangdong, became the target of a probe after reports that he owned the properties in Huizhou, the Guangzhou-based Southern Metropolis Daily reported on Tuesday.

Huang Xianjia, the deputy of Lufeng's Communist Party propaganda department, said: "The party committee in Lufeng has already set up a task force to look into Zhao's case."

He declined to say whether Zhao - dubbed the "grandpa of property" by internet users - had been detained.

Gong Aiai , a deputy head of a bank in Shenmu county, Shaanxi, was arrested in Shenmu on Monday for allegedly "forging official documents and stamps", Xinhua reported.

Gong, who became known as the "elder sister of property", was accused of using fake identities to buy 41 properties in Beijing.

The party committee in Lufeng has already set up a task force to look into Zhao's case

She reportedly had at least three identity cards, issued by public security bureaus in Beijing, Shanxi and Shaanxi.

She went missing after Xinhua released a report on January 17 which suggested she owned more than 20 properties in Beijing, worth nearly 1 billion yuan (HK$1.24 billion).

Zhao was accused of holding two identity cards with two hukou (registered residences) for years, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.

It said Yu Chiru , the top graft-buster at the Public Security Bureau in Shanwei , which oversees Lufeng, confirmed on Monday that Zhao had held two identity cards at the same time, with one of them having been cancelled recently.

Zhao told the newspaper he had been managing the 192 properties on behalf of his younger brother, a businessman, even though they were registered under his own name.

He said these properties had been jointly developed by his brother and others, and had later all been sold.

He admitted having two hukou but said his second identity card was authorised by the party so he could work undercover, posing as a businessman, in 1991.

However, Zhao admitted failing to cancel the second identity card when he returned to his post with the Public Security Bureau in 1997.

Xinhua yesterday quoted an unnamed official with the party's anti-corruption watchdog in Lufeng as saying: "Up to this moment, the local disciplinary department can find no evidence that Zhao has made use of his second identity card to do anything in violation of party discipline or the law of the country. He is for the time being still in his original capacity."