Ni Fake, former deputy chief of Anhui, to face graft charges

Former deputy governor linked to inspection tour scam that once duped Zhu Rongji will be prosecuted for illegally amassing wealth

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 October, 2013, 4:42am

A former provincial leader will be charged with graft following accusations of illegally accumulating wealth and being "morally degenerate", the government said yesterday, the latest move in its crackdown on corruption.

Ni Fake was sacked as deputy governor of Anhui province in June, and his case has been turned over to judicial authorities for prosecution following an internal party corruption probe, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection said on its website.

Ni's case has aroused much attention as many mainland media reports have hinted that he was involved in a famous scandal in 1999 in which then premier Zhu Rongji was fooled during a tour of the province to inspect rice storage facilities.

A collection of speeches by Zhu published in 2011 said he was furious when he found out that Anhui officials had filled an empty storehouse in Nanling county with rice days before his arrival. While no official was named in the book, media reports hinted it was Ni because he was county party boss at the time.

Ni "used his official position to enrich others and to receive a massive amount of wealth directly or through relatives", the commission statement said.

Ni was also "morally degenerate", it added, without giving details, though this is often code for visiting prostitutes or keeping mistresses, both banned under Communist Party rules. He will be charged after being expelled from the party.

After the downfall of Ni, a number of Anhui officials, including its former land chief Chen Lianggang , were taken in for questioning, the 21st Century Business Herald reported earlier. Chen worked in the department for 24 years.

In a mysterious incident, a work safety official from Luan , where Ni was once mayor and party boss died after falling from a building.

Ni, who oversaw land issues while in office, was held for "suspected serious disciplinary offences" last month. He will likely be held responsible for corruption during his time in Luan, where he won a reputation for launching aggressive infrastructure projects and a drive to attract investment, according to the China Business News.

President Xi Jinping has called corruption a threat to the Communist Party's survival and vowed to go after powerful "tigers" as well as lowly "flies".