More than 130 prison officials in Hunan have been implicated in a massive corruption scandal as investigators probe the former chief of the province's correctional system. Liu Wanqing , 56, director of the Hunan Provincial Bureau of Prison Management, was detained in May last year and placed under shuanggui - a type of disciplinary investigation that targets corrupt party officials - for allegedly taking 11 million yuan (HK$12.5 million) in bribes, the Beijing-based China Youth Daily reported yesterday. It quoted officials familiar with the case as saying that several department heads at the bureau had also been taken from their offices in June or July. The report said many of the correctional officers implicated in corruption were senior officials, including the directors of several city prisons in Hunan. They allegedly bribed Liu. Bu Zhongyun , one of the vice-directors of the bureau, clandestinely sent Liu 50,000 yuan in the second half of 2004 when Liu and the Justice Department were assessing candidates for vice- director positions. Bu has been jailed for seven years for offering and accepting bribes. Apart from taking bribes from his subordinates, Liu also reportedly gave false medical paroles to inmates after taking bribes from them. The report said that Liu had authorised medical paroles for up to 28 inmates under his jurisdiction in exchange for 207,000 yuan in bribes while bureau director from 2000 to 2008. According to an earlier report carried by mainland magazine Caijing, Liu pocketed one million yuan provided by a property developer who won a contract to build 400 apartments for prison bureau officials in 2005. Liu was subsequently transferred, becoming the patrolling officer for the Hunan provincial political and law commission in the second half of 2008, before his detention by the provincial disciplinary department in June last year. Liu was famous for finding new ways to generate profit for the cash-strapped prison system by grouping its business arms into a syndicate. Since government funding to prisons is meagre, prisons have to come up with their own ways to support themselves, a practice that has long been blamed for breeding corruption. In an extreme case, in May 1998 one of the prisons in Hunan reportedly allowed prostitutes to be called in to serve inmates in 'special reception rooms' - originally prepared for the use of male prisoners and their wives. In the same year, mainland media made public a confidential list from a prison in Guangxi that detailed the prices of 'transactions' for relatives of inmates there, such as 3,000 yuan for cutting a jail term by one year, 4,000 yuan for medical parole and 10,000 yuan for release on parole.