Scandal-hit spiritual guru who fled to Hong Kong makes secret return to Jiangxi hometown
Wang Lin, last year wanted on graft and fraud, given a warm welcome in Jiangxi, according to leaked photos
Wang Lin, a self-proclaimed qigong master suspected by mainland authorities of fraud and bribery, stepped out of hiding in Hong Kong and visited his hometown in Jiangxi province.
Wang, 62, came under scrutiny by mainland media for his luxurious lifestyle and connections to influential people, including ex-railways minister Liu Zhijun, who was given a suspended death sentence for graft last July.
Not long after that sentence was announced, state-backed China Central Television aired two investigative reports that labelled Wang a phoney and "a vulgar magician" who made a living "deluding celebrities and blinding the public".
Watch: Archive footage of Wang Lin demonstrating his 'powers'
Around that time Wang fled to Hong Kong, where he has permanent residency. He feared he would be arrested if he returned to the mainland.
But Wang was apparently welcomed with open arms in Luxi - including by local officials, according to pictures posted on Weibo on Sunday.
The photos show Wang visiting Wugong Mountain, and posing with friends, later identified by mainland media as the mountain's tourism office director, Zhu Yufang, and other local officials.
"I took a photo with Wang because I think he is very strong - he's in good shape in the face of all those accusations," Zhu told The Beijing News, adding that Wang had a good reputation in Luxi.
Jiangxi provincial authorities said they were unaware of his visit until they saw the photos.