China Red Cross denies senior official being probed for corruption

09:54, July 31, 2011      

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The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) on Saturday denied an online allegation that one of its top officials had been under investigation by discipline authorities, as it battles to defuse public distrust following accusations of corruption.

Since Friday, thousands of online posts on weibo.com, a major Chinese microblogging services run by Sina, have carried the message that "one of RCSC's vice presidents has been taken away by disciplinary authorities to help with an investigation and his office has been sealed."

Online posts also claim "Guo Meimei," a 20-year-old Chinese woman who put herself at the center of public fury after flaunting her wealth online and appearing to be associated with the Red Cross, was taken away by police on Friday.

"No one (from the RCSC) was taken away (by discipline authorities)," an official, who requires anonymity, told Xinhua, in his response to the online allegation.

He said the RCSC had no way to verify whether Guo was taken away by police, implying Guo is not related to the RCSC.

The RCSC came under fire since last month after an internet user uncovered Guo's account on Sina Weibo, full of images detailing her lavish lifestyle.

The woman claimed to be a general manager for "Red Cross Commerce," a group that the RCSC said does not exist.

Netizens became indignant as they speculated that she might have funded her extravagant purchases by embezzling money from the Red Cross Society.

The RCSC opened its own official microblog earlier this month in order to demonstrate its willingness to enhance transparency in light of public distrust following the Guo Meimei scandal.

Source: Xinhua
 
 
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