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Collapsed building: Probe into allegations

MINHANG authorities said they will investigate media allegations which said the collapsed building that killed one worker on Saturday was built by a company that is owned by several government officials.

Officials with the district's information office said they will investigate the backgrounds of the Shanghai Meidu Real Estate Co, the developer of Lotus Riverside community in the district's Meilong Town where a residential building under construction toppled over remaining almost intact early on Saturday morning.

Media reports said the second biggest shareholder of Meidu is now the assistant to the director of Meilong Town.

Que Jingde paid 1.2 million yuan (US$175,695) to buy 15 percent of a stake of Meidu in March, 2001, according to records at the local industrial and commercial authority.

Que and another 23 people bought Meidu for 16 million yuan when the company turned itself from a state-owned company into a privately-owned business in 2003.

The company was owned by the Meilong town government before 2003.

Also on the shareholders' list was Zhang Jinliang, who now acts as the head of the Meilong Town Land Requisition Bureau.

The list also revealed Que Jianping paid 50,000 yuan to buy 0.625 percent of the company's shares.

According to the records, Que Jianping has the same home address as Que Jingde.

Shanghai Oriental Morning Post today cited unnamed sources as saying that Zhang Zhiqin, who owns 64.38 percent of shares of Meidu, the biggest holder, was the brother of the head of Meilong's Police Station.

The vice director of Meilong has confirmed to media that Que used to be in charge of land demolition businesses in the town government.

The Meilong town government declined to comment when approached by Shanghai Evening Post today.

Meanwhile, security guards at No. 966 Xingzhu Rd, the registered address of Meidu, said they did not know of the company.

At least another three other companies have the same registered address as Meidu, including a company called Xunhao, whose legal representative is Que Jingde, the director's assistant.

According to previous reports, Meidu got the land to build the Lotus community at a price that was only one-third of that paid by other developers to buy plots in the same area in 2003.

The floor price of the Lotus project was 604 yuan per square meter while that for a nearby project was 1,929 yuan.

In the design approved by the authority, the Lotus project was to build eight 11-story residential buildings and two six-story buildings.

But when the accident happened, the community had 11 13-story buildings. It has 629 apartments, with 489 of them sold. The average housing price in the development was 14,297 yuan.


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