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'Uncle House' under investigation

By Zheng Caixiong (China Daily)

14:04, October 23, 2012

A house in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, owned by the wife of Cai Bin, former head of the urban management bureau in the city's Panyu district. Liang Zhiwei / Xinhua

An official in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, has been removed from duty after investigators found he owned far more houses than he could afford on his salary, according to a disciplinary watchdog's announcement on Monday.

Cai Bin, 56, who is commonly known as fangshu, or "Uncle House" among locals and netizens, was restricted from traveling and asked to cooperate with further investigations, Mei Heqing, a senior official with the city's Party commission for discipline inspection, said at a news conference.

Cai is suspected of receiving huge bribes when he served as deputy chief of Panyu district's public security bureau and head of the district's urban management bureau, according to Mei.

Investigations showed that Cai and his family owned 22 houses, one more than the number claimed by whistleblowers who recently brought the scandal to light online.

Cai's properties are in Panyu and Nansha districts and include factory buildings, villas, commercial apartments, business complexes and parking lots.

Among the houses with a combined floor space of more than 7,200 square meters are a 240-sq-m multistory house and a 3,405-sq-m factory building.

A local real estate agency estimated that the total market value of the properties Cai and his family members own could reach more than 40 million yuan ($6.3 million).

As a county-level official, Cai's monthly pay is around 10,000 yuan, while his wife, Shi Liying, earned less than Cai. Shi was director of the general office and secretary-general of the Panyu district association of industry and commerce before she retired. Cai's son, Cai Zhanpei, who has Australian citizenship, lives in Guangzhou and runs an advertisement company.


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