Top leader`s son held in stepped-up anti-graft drive in China

In a major clean-up drive after launching a probe against retired top leader Zhou Yongkong, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) ordered arrest of his son and initiated action against a host of officials, including six anti-graft officials for dereliction of duty.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 30, 2014, 13:46 PM IST

Beijing: In a major clean-up drive after launching a probe against retired top leader Zhou Yongkong, the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) ordered arrest of his son and initiated action against a host of officials, including six anti-graft officials for dereliction of duty.

Zhou Bin, the younger son of Zhou Yongkong, the highest ranking retired Chinese leader facing a corruption probe has been placed under detention on a charge of illegal business dealings besides 24 others connected with the former leader, official media here reported today.

Procuratorate in Yichang, Hubei province is investigating Zhou Bin`s case and his mysterious business empire ranging from hydropower, oil and tourism to the investment sector, which was allegedly built with the advantage of his father`s power, state run China Daily reported today.

Zhou Yongkong, the ninth-ranking member of the nine-member Standing Committee headed by former President Hu Jintao which ruled the country till last year was formally placed under investigation by the CPC yesterday.
Zhou is an expert from the booming petroleum sector and retired last year. He is the highest retired Chinese leader to face an anti-graft probe ever since CPC initiated reforms three decades ago.

Separately the CPC disciplinary watchdog announced the expulsion of six officials from the party and public office for "serious violations of discipline and law."

According to a statement from the CPC`s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, all six officials are local graft-busters tasked with investigating corruption. In one case, Luo Weiguo, former head of the discipline inspection unit of the Department of Land and Resources in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous

Region, was found to have facilitated others in acquiring land projects receiving about USD 2.72 million bribes, state-tun Xinhua news agency reported.

Luo was also found to have committed adultery. He was expelled from the party and stripped of retirement benefits. In another case, Yang Xiaocheng, a former Beijing disciplinary official, was found to have taken bribes and sought profits for his mistress. Yang was expelled from the CPC and dismissed from public office.
The other four former discipline inspectors were Xu Jinhua from east China`s Jiangxi Province, Jin Liang from central China`s Hunan Province, Zheng Qiliang from east China`s Shandong Province and Gao Hongming from east China`s Jiangsu Province. They are accused of graft, embezzlement and abuse of power.

Five of them have been transferred to judicial organs for suspected violation of law and Gao was sentenced to five years in prison last December, the Xinhua report said.

As China`s anti-corruption campaign picks up momentum,
those tasked with rooting out graft are also facing closer scrutiny, it said.

Earlier this year, the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee also
publicised 10 cases of disciplinary or legal violations by police officers, judges and prosecutors.

Also the Supreme People`s Procuratorate either prosecuted or probed five Chinese officials for corruption. Local prosecutors have filed lawsuits against Hu Guochu, former director of the Hengyang Municipal People`s Congress Standing Committee, Zuo Huiling and Liao Jiesheng, former deputy directors of the Standing Committee, for suspected dereliction of duty and bribe-taking.

A local court in south China`s Guangdong Province has filed a lawsuit against Cui Renquan, former head of the Guangzhou Municipal Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, for suspected abuse of power and bribe-taking.

Prosecutors in northwest China`s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have investigated and taken "coercive measures" against Peng Zhenhua, former deputy director of the region`s afforestation committee, for receiving bribes.

The stepped up anti-corruption drive was stated to be part of sweeping anti-corruption drive launched by President Xi Jinping.