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Anti-graft official worth millions

A FORMER anti-graft official in north China who has accumulated personal wealth worth 100 million yuan (US$16.64 million) is being investigated for corruption.

Mu Xincheng, vice chief procurator of Fanzhi County People's Procuratorate in Shanxi Province's Xinzhou City, was put under "double designation" in early May - an anti-corruption term for Party members being investigated for violating Party discipline, today's China Youth Daily reported.

Prosecutors drove five luxury cars from his home and office, each valued at more than 1 million yuan, the report said.

Mu had headed the anti-corruption department of Fanzhi County People's Procuratorate from 1999 to 2008.

Because of his job, Mu enjoyed authority among local people and many mine owners asked him to help solve disputes, the China Youth Daily report said.

One of the cases involving two mine owners sparked the investigation to Mu, the report said, though neither party in the dispute confirmed the report.

Mine owner Zhang De'en bought an iron mine in 2007 for 43.8 million yuan. But he found out another man, Zhang Shengfu, had been illegally mining in the same area. Zhang Sheng'en, a close friend of Mu, suggested arbitration by Mu.

As a result, Zhang De'en paid 53 million yuan to Zheng Shengfu for the mining rights.

Zhang Shengfu fled after Mu was investigated. He is wanted by police over tax evasion and illegal mining.

Mu allegedly also took bribes from local government officials, the China Youth Daily report said.

Ironically, Mu had a high reputation among local people as a philanthropist, as he and his wife, both loyal Buddhists, were actively engaged in charity work.

In 2005 he took the lead in donating to the local Zhengjue Temple which was forced to suspend its renovations because of a lack of money. His donation drew more mine owners in and they raised a total 77 million yuan for the temple.

Another widely quoted example was when Mu sent 5,000 yuan to a local worker at a bookstore when he learned the woman was too poor to support her daughter's study.

From 2004 and 2007 Mu and his friend donated 120,000 yuan to the local Xingyu School.

He was crowned by the local media as the "tree king" after planting trees in the 333 hectares of barren hills in his hometown since 1991.


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