All members of the middle and top management at China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have been ordered to surrender their passports, a mainland newspaper and a source said, as authorities rush to contain the fallout from a widening corruption inquiry into the oil and gas giant.
As many as 1,000 section heads and higher-ranking CNPC executives were also ordered to submit daily reports about their attendance, and industrial accidents, even if none occurred, the Securities Daily newspaper reported yesterday citing an unidentified company source.
The initiatives aimed to prevent some of the main suspects fleeing abroad and make sure other officials were available to assist the probe, the paper said.
Repeated attempts to reach CNPC for comment on the Daily's report yesterday were unsuccessful.
A source close to CNPC told the South China Morning Post yesterday that the passport requirements were introduced at a company-wide meeting last week, days after authorities said they were investigating four top CNPC officials, including deputy general manager Wang Yongchun, for corruption.
Days later, Xinhua announced Jiang Jiemin , director of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (Sasac) was also under investigation for graft.
The investigation of Jiang - who is a former chairman of CNPC, a ministerial-level official and a full member of the party's 205-strong Central Committee - and other top CNPC officials has sent shock waves through the state oil industry.
In an apparent attempt to contain fallout from the widening graft probe in the sector, Sasac's party secretary Zhang Yi last week toured the Daqing oilfield in Heilongjiang province and the Changqing oilfield in the northwest to show solidarity with frontline production managers and workers.
Zhang has called the investigation of top officials "some isolated cases" and said the central government still had faith in the company.
A CNPC official told 21st Century Business Herald that other senior CNPC officials were particularly worried about the impact of the investigation on daily production.