Official probed for drug gang links

Updated: 2012-11-29 00:25

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou (China Daily)

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A vice-mayor in Guangdong province is being investigated in a high-profile case involving his alleged connections to local drug gangs, and his over-ruling of local police actions involving the gangs.

According to a statement from the Qingyuan Party commission for discipline inspection, Zheng Beiquan, the deputy mayor of Yingde and director of the city's public security bureau, was suspected of breaking various laws to help relatives and friends.

Zheng, 41, a native of Guangdong's Qingxin county, has been put under shuanggui, a procedure in which a Party member is asked to confess to wrongdoing at a stipulated time and place, the statement said.

"Relevant departments have officially been asked to further investigate the case," said sources with the Qingyuan Party commission for discipline inspection on Wednesday.

But an official from the Party publicity department of Qingyuan said that administrators in Yingde refused to reveal further details.

"The findings will be made public when the investigation is finished," he said.

The case first made headlines after Xie Longsheng, deputy director of the Yingde bureau of public security, and Zhu Yingzhong, commissar of the bureau, reported Zheng's connection to gangsters to the appropriate government departments in late September.

Xie and Zhu said Zheng was acting as the "protective umbrella" for a local drug gang.

"I was investigating a drugs case in Yingde, at the Xinhuayue Hotel, in March and found one of the drug gang heads was Zheng's younger brother, while another head, Zeng Weibiao, was one of his former classmates and came from the same town as him," Xie told local media in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province, on Tuesday.

Xie said he was ordered to release all the detainees after he reported the case to Zheng. He had detained a total of 175 suspects and drug addicts and seized more than 2,000 grams of drugs.

Zheng's younger brother holds a 15 percent stake of the hotel where Xie said drugs were being traded, with Zeng owning 70 percent of the business.

Xie and Zhu refused to follow the order, but they were over ruled by Zheng, Xie claimed.

Xie was transferred to the Yingde bureau of justice while Zhu was asked to leave the bureau in August.

Both Xie and Zhu said they hoped to be restored to their former posts.

In another development, Chen Hongping, 58, the former Party chief of Jieyang city in the eastern part of Guangdong province, has been under investigation on suspicion of violating laws and Party discipline, sources with the Guangdong provincial commission for discipline inspection said on Wednesday.

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