Anti-graft investigations in the southwestern province of Sichuan appear to have widened after a close associate of disgraced deputy provincial party secretary Li Chuncheng was detained on suspicion of violating party discipline.
Wu Tao , head of public security in the Jinjiang district of Chengdu , was taken into custody by party discipline and inspection authorities last month while preparing to flee with a large sum of money, The Beijing News reported, citing Chengdu police sources.
Chengdu police refused to comment yesterday, but Wu was no longer listed as a deputy district director on Jinjiang's government website.
A police official overseeing party discipline for city police authorities has been put in charge of the police bureau.
The investigation of Wu follows the detentions of Li, Sichuan's former deputy party secretary, and Guo Yongxiang , a former deputy governor and the chairman of the province's Federation of Literary and Art Circles, in the wake of an anti-corruption campaign launched by Communist Party secretary Xi Jinping in the weeks after he took power.
Xi has pledged to come down hard on corrupt officials - regardless of their positions.
Wu, 43, has been referred to as Li's housekeeper because he was police chief in Chengdu's Qingyang district, where he oversaw security at an estate where Li lived while serving as the city's party chief, the report said.
Wu also reportedly helped Li's wife, Qu Songzhi , obtain passports that she used to travel to several countries between 2005 and last year. He was found to have four passports he obtained using different IDs.
Investigators are also looking into allegations that Wu owns a mine, a violation of party discipline.