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Official admits role in housing scandal

A HOUSING official in central China's Hubei Province has admitted fraudulently issuing certificates to allow government employees to buy homes cheaply in a lottery to aid low-income workers.

The official, surnamed Zhang, with Qiaokou District Housing Administrative Bureau in the provincial capital of Wuhan, went on trial today, Xinhua news agency reported.

Altogether 5,141 low-income families took part in a lucky draw on June 12 organized by the city government for cheap housing projects. Winners were able to buy the homes at prices lower than the market rates.

But six of the 124 applications drawn had the same numbers. A government investigation discovered officials from the police, property managers and neighborhood committee had been involved in the scandal.

Five officials including Zhu Zhiqiang, vice director of Wuhan State Land and Housing Administrative Bureau, were sacked.


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