A senior official from Guangdong's provincial legislature has been removed from his post and expelled from the Communist Party, the latest high-ranking cadre named in a nationwide anti-graft campaign.
Li Zhujiang, the deputy secretary general of the Standing Committee of the Guangdong Provincial People's Congress, was arrested on April 27, but it was only announced yesterday by the party's provincial disciplinary authority.
He was the fourth vice-ministerial-level official swept up in the anti-graft campaign in as many weeks, in what appears to be an effort by party chiefs to show they are fulfilling President Xi Jinping's promise to catch "tigers and flies".
Li, 59, is accused of taking huge bribes between 2000 and 2009 when he ran the Guangdong Provincial Administration of Ocean and Fisheries, the Guangdong anti-graft agency said.
The agency said the bribes were "enormous" and Li's offences "very serious", adding he would be handed over to prosecutors for further investigation. It provided few other details.
According to the state-run Guangzhou Daily, Li was placed under investigation on April 27 in connection to the illegal construction of a 100 million yuan (HK$126 million) floating villa on rafts in Dongshan Bay in Shenzhen.
The "palace on the sea" was begun by a Shenzhen-based developer in 2003 and eventually expanded to cover more than 3,000 square metres.
The local oceanic bureau has been trying to have the villa removed since 2007.
Mainland political commentator Zhu Jianguo said he expected see more high-ranking arrests announced as provinces and departments handed over their lists of officials suspected of bribery.
"But this campaign is destined to provide little help to the party's corruption problems," Zhu said. "You can see the officials toppled are well-chosen and senior-ranking, but their posts do not hold much power."
Other top-ranking officials recently named in probes include Wang Suyi , the former chief of Inner Mongolia's United Front Work Department; Li Chuncheng , the deputy party chief of Sichuan ; Liu Tienan , deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission and Ni Fake, the vice-governor of Anhui province.