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Party scrutinizes official owning 22 properties

(Shanghai Daily)

10:26, October 23, 2012

AN urban management official in south China's Guangdong Province whose ownership stake in 22 properties was confirmed is under Party investigation due to "economic problems."

Cai Bin, a senior official with the Panyu District division of the Guangzhou Urban Management and Law Enforcement Bureau, severely violated Party discipline by taking bribes and illegally opening a business, the Guangzhou Party discipline watchdog announced yesterday.

The 56-year-old Cai is facing a further investigation, Nanfang Daily reported. He also has been sacked from his position.

The scandal emerged after cyberspace whistle-blowers revealed on Sina Weibo, one of China's biggest Twitter-like microblogging sites, that Cai and his family owned 21 houses.

An earlier investigation showed the online information was "basically true," said Guo Xuanyu, a spokesman for the Panyu District Party Disciplinary Committee.

The online post revealed that Cai's 21 houses totaled 7,200 square meters and are valued at about 40 million yuan (US$6.4 million).

Of the 21 houses, 19 are under the name of his wife Shi Liying and his son. One is jointly owned by Cai and Shi and the other is under the name of Cai.

The latest investigation showed Cai also owned one additional house.

The number is much greater than Cai previously declared to higher authorities. He told authorities last year and again this year that his family had only two houses. He also denied the extent of his property ownership in an earlier interview with Xinhua news agency.

The district government said Cai earned 10,000 yuan per month and his wife, now retired, earned less.

Local authorities confirmed that Cai's son has emigrated to Australia.

In dealing with corruption tips on the Internet, Panyu government's speedy response has won applause.

"The action taken by the inspection authorities was quick and powerful," said a blogger.
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