There is growing speculation over the whereabouts of a senior Shanxi provincial justice department official after his name was removed from the department's website.
The name of Su Hao, a 56 year-old deputy head of the department, was no longer listed on the website, a staff member confirmed to the South China Morning Post. But the employee declined to say whether Su continued to work there.
Su's role fell under the purview of the provincial government headquarters and not the justice department, the employee said.
Three other high-profile officials in Shanxi have been placed under investigation for suspected violation of party discipline since February - Jin Daoming, the former vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the Shanxi Provincial People's Congress; Zhu Zuoli, the deputy chairman of the provincial People's Political Consultative Conference; and Xie Kemin, the deputy commissioner of the provincial party discipline inspection commission.
However, a staff member at the general office of the Shanxi government said it had no information on any change to Su's status, and he remained listed as the deputy head of the justice department on their internal contact list.
An independent journalist from Shanxi, Li Jianjun, told the Post Su and his wife were placed under investigation last week, and their apartments in both Beijing and Taiyuan had been searched by the anti-graft authorities from Tianjin .
Repeated calls to the Communist Party's anti-graft watchdog, the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, went unanswered.
Su became embroiled in a scandal over illegitimate children he was alleged to have fathered with mistresses following a report by Li in 2011. At the time, Su was the deputy head of the Shanxi provincial public security department and police chief in Taiyuan. Su denied the report but it still led to an outcry on social media networks.
Su was assigned to the provincial justice department later the same year.