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October 15, 2010

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Report: City land official in probe

A SENIOR official of Shanghai's housing and land bureau is reported to be under investigation on suspicion of malpractice in land planning issues, becoming another high-ranking land official to be questioned by anti-corruption authorities.

Tao Xiaoxing, 59, vice director of the Shanghai Housing, Land and Resources Administrative Bureau, who was in charge of land-use approvals, was taken for investigation on Monday by Party discipline inspection officials, Beijing-based Caijing Magazine reported yesterday.

Bureau authorities declined to comment or confirm the news. An official with close relations to Tao, who demanded anonymity, told reporters Tao has been out of the office for days.

The official said Tao frequently has been taken for investigation of "money issues" since Shanghai's 2006 pension fund scandal that pulled down the city's ex-Party chief Chen Liangyu and several other former land resources officials. They were accused of large-scale corruption involving property developers and illegally investing Shanghai's social security fund in real estate and road projects, the magazine said.

The scandal also toppled Zhu Wenjin, who was Tao's subordinate and former director of the bureau's land use management department.

Zhu was sentenced to 15 years for taking bribes of 4 million yuan (US$601,440) from real estate developers.

The bureau's former director, Yin Guoyuan, who was Tao's supervisor, was sentenced to death with a two-year grace period for massive corruption, including bribery, in August 2008.


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