Ninth official at centre of graft probe in Shanxi

Mayoral candidate latest official to fall under anti-graft spotlight

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 2:11pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 2:11pm

A senior government official in Shanxi has been held amid a graft probe, the latest of several political figures to be investigated in the coal-rich province.

Jin Ruilin, former deputy mayor of Datong city and candidate for mayor in the next election, is under “investigation by the organisation” for “serious violations of discipline,” – a term commonly used to infer corruption - the provincial party internal disciplinary commission said on Thursday.

Jin began his political career as a typist in Shenchi county’s party headquarters in 1977.

The 57-year-old was appointed deputy mayor of Datong in 2012, in charge of land resources, transportation, water facilities, agriculture, forestry and poverty relief, according to his official resume.

He is one of at least nine political figures in Shanxi to have been placed under investigation since February. They include the mayor of Gaoping, mayor of Luliang, and the deputy head of the work committee for the provincial Communist Party.

Jin Daoming, the vice-chairman of the provincial People’s Congress standing committee, and Shen Weichen, the former head of the China Association for Science and technology who once was party chief in Shanxi’s capital, Taiyuan, are the highest ranking officials being probed in the latest anti-graft campaign.

Shanxi has one of the largest coal reserves in China with officials at various levels said to be dipping fingers into the coal business, such as mining, transportation, power generation and chemical industries.

A central government inspection team criticised the province in February for rampant corruption, placing the provincial authorities under pressure to move against graft.

Early this month, the provincial government announced that eight transport officials, including two former heads of Shanxi’s transportation bureau, were also under investigation for corruption.