Sat, Apr 18, 2009 - Page 5 News List

Corruption scandal snares Shenzhen anti-graft officials

REUTERS , HONG KONG

A widening corruption scandal in China’s southern economic powerhouse of Guangdong Province has snared two senior anti-graft officials in the boomtown of Shenzhen, a newspaper reported yesterday.

Anti-graft officers from Beijing had taken into custody two officials from Shenzhen’s Discipline Inspection Commission last weekend, Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post reported, citing unnamed sources. It did not name the officials.

This comes amid a deepening investigation into alleged financial misconduct by Huang Guangyu (黃光裕), the Guangdong-born founder of GOME Electrical Appliances (國美電器控股), which has also led to the detention of two senior officials with Guangdong links.

GOME is China’s top electronics retailer.

Corruption investigations in China can be proxies for political struggles, with some analysts saying the latest campaign appeared to be orchestrated by Guangdong’s party chief Wang Yang (汪洋), a Beijing-backed outsider who took up the job around two years ago.

“There had been a political battle between Mr Wang and the Guangdong clique of officials. And Mr Wang had won,” the South China Morning Post reported, citing Shenzhen-based political analyst Zhu Jianguo (朱建國).

The province’s top political adviser, Chen Shaoji (陳紹基), and the former head of Guangdong’s anti-corruption body, Wang Huayuan, had been put under ­shuanggui (雙規) a form of party discipline before being turned over to prosecutors, the Post reported.

Chen and Wang Huayuan (王華元) — who now heads a disciplinary body in eastern Zhejiang Province — had both been detained for investigation in relation to Huang’s case, China’s respected Caijing magazine reported.

The two detained Shenzhen officials were related to Wang Huayuan’s case as they had been his subordinates, the Post said.

It added that many local officials and scholars considered the cases of Chen and Wang Huayuan to be “the most significant in Guangdong in at least 30 years.”

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