Shanghai prosecutors have ordered the arrest of Chau Ching-ngai on charges of fabricating registered capital and manipulating stock prices, local media and police said yesterday. The announcement follows a three-month probe of the property developer, his flagship company Shanghai Nongkai Development (Group) and its subsidiaries. Chau was already in detention. Prosecutors yesterday granted approval for police to arrest the businessman and move forward with a criminal investigation under the law, local television and the Eastday web site said, but gave no further details. A police official confirmed the reports but declined further comment. Residents who sued, and lost, two cases against Shanghai's Jing'an district government had also accused Chau of colluding with local officials to obtain land for free without providing for people evicted by a property project located just off the city's Beijing Road. Courts ruled the land transfer and relocation work was legal. Political analysts said Shanghai wanted to contain the scandal to prevent it from implicating officials at higher levels of government. Authorities have declined to say whether any Jing'an officials would be punished. Rumours had circulated earlier that Chau might even be set free. Since the scandal, Shanghai has announced it would review all land deals for the past two years and require sales to be carried out through bidding. Property industry officials said Shanghai unveiled a bidding system two years ago but was never fully implemented. At the same time, Shanghai authorities have cracked down on public protests by residents over eviction and compensation packages, and arrested a prominent lawyer advising people on real-estate disputes with the government. Lawyer Zheng Enchong is awaiting sentence on charges of leaking state secrets.