Beijing prosecutors formally arrested senior Finance Ministry official Xu Fangming on Monday for allegedly taking bribes, the Beijing Times reported yesterday. Quoting city prosecutors, the newspaper said the officers had found 'persuasive evidence' that Xu, director of the ministry's Finance Department, had taken a bribe of 50,000 yuan. But the prosecutors added 'that might not be the total amount of bribes he took'. 'As the investigation progresses and more evidence is uncovered, the amount could change,' the report said. An unnamed ministry official told China Business that Xu was found to 'have embezzled public funds of more than 1.3 million yuan' and his 'illegal private assets' had been frozen. 'An unidentified source with close ties to the Finance Ministry told China Business that Xu was likely to be accused of malpractice, as he was in charge of the management of state-owned assets by the nation's financial organisations,' Xinhua reported yesterday. 'Xu's case is likely to involve foreign-investment business transactions, since his power also included managing outward loans and the purchase of foreign products.' Xinhua described Xu as a 'rising power with a bright future' before his arrest. 'His performance at work was outstanding,' a colleague at the ministry was quoted as saying. According to the Beijing Times, Xu's post at the Finance Ministry had been temporarily taken over by one of his deputies, Sun Xiaoxia. The report also said that Xu's arrest was related to that of Hu Chushou , a former vice-president of the Agricultural Development Bank, who has been charged with taking 6 million yuan in bribes.