Zhou Yongkang

Two women detained in Sichuan graft probe

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 8:42am

The corruption probe into a former Sichuan vice-governor appears to have widened, amid reports that two female acquaintances also have been detained.

A deputy section chief at the agency that oversees state-owned enterprises and an executive at a Chengdu technology firm were arrested in connection with the investigation into Guo Yongxiang, The Beijing News reported.

The report revealed several new details, including the discovery by investigators of gold bars stashed in a villa belonging to Guo, who is chairman of the Federation of Literary and Art Circles in Sichuan.

Guo, 64, has been accused of "serious violations of party discipline", a Communist Party euphemism for corruption.

He was a one-time top aide to Zhou Yongkang, a now retired member of the Politburo's supreme Standing Committee who oversaw public security and social stability.

The two worked together for 12 years, including stints at the China National Petroleum Corporation, the Ministry of Land and Resources and with the Sichuan provincial government. They went their separate ways in 2002 when Zhou was promoted to the Ministry of Public Security.

Guo is among several high-ranking party officials from Sichuan who have been investigated since President Xi Jinping launched an anti-graft campaign upon taking power. Deputy provincial party chief Li Chuncheng was accused of disciplinary violations in December.

Citing several unnamed sources at the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac), The Beijing News said a female deputy section chief was taken away in connection with the Guo investigation on July 2.

The woman, in her 30s, used to work in the general office of the Sichuan government, the report said. Guo was head of the office from 2000 to 2005. The report said she appeared to have more wealth than would have been expected for someone on her salary.

"She owned an Audi Q5 SUV … and the two were close," the report quoted a commission official as saying.

Sasac declined to comment yesterday.

On Monday, police in Hubei's Yichang city confirmed that He Yan, the chairwoman of Chengdu-based technology company GoldTel Group, had been detained on June 30. The Beijing News report said He and Guo were old friends.