Senior Chongqing official investigated for graft allegations

Updated: 2014-05-05 08:20

By Luo Wangshu and Tan Yingzi in Chongqing (China Daily)

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A senior official in Chongqing is being probed for serious discipline and law violations by the country's anti-corruption authorities.

Tan Xiwei, 59, the deputy director of the Chongqing Municipal People's Congress Standing Committee, is the first provincial-level official from Chongqing to be investigated for graft since November 2012, when the Party's new leadership began an anti-graft campaign.

The investigation was announced on Saturday by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection of the Communist Party, the Party's top anti-graft watchdog. No further details were provided.

Tan was the city's deputy mayor from March 2006 to January 2013, under then-secretary Bo Xilai.

Tan, a native of Chongqing, has worked in the city for more than 40 years.

A source close to the local government told the Oriental Morning Post that Tan might have been involved in a high-profile sex scandal in Chongqing. The source also said the probe may be related to Tan's work with the Three Gorges Dam project. Most of the project is located in Chongqing.

Tan, as the deputy mayor, led the city's Three Gorges resettlement work for more than six years.

According to an auditing report on the Three Gorges Dam project in June 2013 by the National Audit Office, 279 million yuan ($44.6 million) in resettlement funds was embezzled for non-resettlement construction.

Tan publicly denied that the financial problems were related to the resettlement funds. Meanwhile, he also suggested that the central government should invest more money in solving resettlement issues.

Tan has spoken publicly several times about the Three Gorges project.

In 2007, he said that the Three Gorges project had a negative impact on the region's tourism industry. He also suggested that the top legislator should launch a sustainable mechanism for the Three Gorges resources recycling during the National People's Congress in 2013.

Tan is not the first official connected to the Three Gorges project to be accused of corruption.

On April 24, media reported that Guo Youming, another provincial-level official and former deputy governor of Hubei, was being investigated by the country's top procuratorate for taking bribes related to the project.

The reports have not been confirmed by officials sources.

Tan is the ninth provincial-level official to be investigated for graft this year, and the 26th since November 2012. Prosecutors have expanded their investigations into corruption in recent years. In 2013, eight officials at the ministerial level and 253 above the bureau chief level were investigated for graft, an increase of 42 percent compared with 2012, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

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