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Official's real estate holdings exposed

By Liu Sheng (Global Times)

08:43, October 11, 2012

A local official, whose family is alleged to own 21 real estate properties worth 40 million yuan ($6.3 million), is being investigated by authorities in Panyu district, Guangzhou.

Cai Bin, 56, who is a senior official with the Panyu Urban Management Bureau, has amassed more than 7,200 square meters of property, according to Web users who first brought the information to light.

Real estate registration forms were pictured in Weibo postings showing Cai and his family own a villa, apartments, stores, factories and parking spaces. The Southern Metropolis Daily has confirmed the authenticity of the forms.

"The discipline inspection authority has launched an investigation and we are waiting for the result," an official from the office of Panyu Urban Management Bureau confirmed with the Global Times Wednesday. The official did not know if Cai was still working while being investigated.

The microblog of the local government said Wednesday that authorities will handle the case in accordance with laws and regulations and if any disciplinary violations are found the information will be released in a timely manner.

Of the 21 properties, only one apartment, worth about 2 million yuan, is registered to both Cai and his wife, Shi Lizhen. Shi has 13 properties registered solely in her name. Cai's relatives are also sole owners of three properties. The remaining properties are co-owned by Cai's wife and relatives.

Shi is a retired office director of the local industry and commerce association.

In interviews with a local reporter, Cai denied owning so much real estate. "I would be so happy if I owned so many properties," he said. When asked if his wife had the financial wherewithal to own so many properties he refused to answer.

Mao Shoulong, a professor with the School of Public Administration at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times Wednesday that the government should require officials to disclose their wealth and how they obtained it.

"Our banking system and real estate property bureaus should report suspicious transactions to anti-

corruption investigators. We seem to rely too much on investigations by independent citizens to provide clues to corruption," said Mao.


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