Tue, Oct 24, 2006 - Page 4 News List

More than 50 detained in fund scandal, sources say


Chinese investigators have detained more than 50 people in the Shanghai social security fund scandal, a Beijing-funded Hong Kong newspaper said yesterday, a day after President Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) pledged to clean up the government.

The head of Shanghai's commission supervising state-owned companies and one of his deputies were the latest to be detained, two government sources said yesterday.

The director of the state-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the city government was detained at the weekend and was being questioned about suspected links to the pension fund scandal, the sources said.

The snowballing saga has led to the dismissal of Shanghai Communist Party boss Chen Liangyu and the arrest of Zhang Rongkun (張榮坤), chairman of the private Fuxi Investment Holding Co and one of China's richest men.

More than 50 businessmen and government officials have also been taken into custody, Hong Kong's Ta Kung Pao said without elaborating.

Beijing has sent more than 100 anti-corruption investigators to Shanghai to investigate money reportedly drained from the city's 10 billion yuan (US$1.25 billion) social security fund for illicit loans and investments. As much as US$400 million may have been used for highly speculative property and toll-road deals.

Hu on Sunday made a fresh call for Chinese Communist Party unity in the fight against corruption at a rare public appearance with his predecessor, Jiang Zemin (江澤民), state press reported yesterday.

"In order to inherit and spread the glorious revolutionary tradition of the Red Army's Long March, we must fully strengthen the unity of the party and among Chinese people of all ethnic groups," Hu said in a speech to cadres in the Great Hall of the People.

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