Police in Beijing found that a former Shaanxi banker owned 41 properties in the capital - a discovery that led them to arrest four people, including a police officer, who allegedly fabricated documents for the ex-banker, state media reported yesterday.
Dubbed the "elder sister of property", Gong Aiai , the former deputy chief of a bank in Shaanxi's Shenmu county, owned 41 Beijing properties totalling 10,000 square metres, Xinhua reported. It said 10 of her Beijing properties - which were bought with her fake Beijing household-registration identities, or hukou - were seized by police along with an Audi car.
It remains unclear if she owned other properties in the provinces of Shaanxi and Shanxi , where she had other fake registered identities.
Gong's real residency was in the town of Shenmu in Shaanxi. She registered three fake identities in Beijing and two counties in Shanxi province between 2004 and 2008, Xinhua said.
Media reports said Gong had not been seen for a couple of weeks and there was speculation that other officials could be involved in the case. Mainland media previously reported that some corrupt officials bribed policemen to acquire second or third identity cards - which, though illegal, were valid - and used the fictitious names to manage huge asset portfolios.
Four Beijing residents - a police officer, an incumbent official, a retired official from the education examinations authority and the manager of a training firm - were arrested on suspicion of having helped Gong fraudulently acquire hukou papers in Beijing.
Three other policemen in Shanxi and Shaanxi were taken into custody after being accused of fabricating official documents for Gong, the report added.
An investigative report in the Legal Weekly, affiliated with the Communist Party's Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, said yesterday that Gong had spent around 1 billion yuan (HK$1.23 billion) to open and operate investment and property development firms in Beijing and Shaanxi under the fictitious name "Gong Xianxia ".
The report suggested Gong might have colluded with officials in Shenmu county and had privatised state-owned coal mines at well below market cost before amassing huge wealth by selling shares in her firms.