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August 18, 2009

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Laigang Exec Under Probe In Rio Case

ANOTHER executive from a major China steel producer is under investigation for his role in the commercial espionage case involving the world's second-largest iron ore miner, Rio Tinto.

Wang Hongjiu, an executive with China's sixth-largest steel mill, the Laigang Group in Laiwu City in Shandong Province, was taken into custody by police investigating the Rio case, the Securities Daily reported yesterday, citing a colleague of Wang.

Tan Yixin, an executive of Shougang Group in Beijing, was also taken in by police days earlier.

Laiwu prosecutors said Wang's case was still "classified," according to the report, but the media speculated their arrests were linked to Rio Tinto's alleged bribery in China.

The two were believed to "have offered commercial secrets" to Stern Hu, one of the four Rio employees arrested in Shanghai.

Tan and Wang were top officials in China's state-owned steel firms that were part of the iron ore price negotiations.

Wang was in charge of ocean shipping in Laigang.


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