BEIJING (Reuters) - A former senior Chinese police officer faces investigation on charges of taking massive bribes, official media reported on Thursday, in a development that appears to be linked to a broadening stock manipulation scandal.
Zheng Shaodong, who as assistant minister of public security was in charge of handling economic crimes, was formally dismissed from his post and from the ruling Communist Party, the website of the People’s Daily newspaper (www.people.com.cn) reported.
“An investigation found that Zheng Shaodong abused his position,” said the report. “He accepted huge bribes, and his relatives took massive cash payments from others.”
The “suspected economic crimes have been handed to judicial organs for handling,” said the report, using words that suggest Zheng is likely to stand trial.
The brief report was a glimpse into the intermingling of power and wealth in today’s China, a mix that has toppled other senior officials and, critics say, tainted more who remain in their jobs.
The report did not say precisely how much money Zheng is accused of taking in bribes, and nor did it say who bribed him.
Earlier news reports linked his fall to an investigation into alleged stock manipulation by Huang Guangyu, the founder of Chinese home appliance retailer GOME, who has also been detained.
Zheng Shaodong was detained in January at the beginning of the investigation of Huang.
Once China’s richest man before falling from grace, Huang is also being investigated on suspicion of committing crimes separate from the original stock manipulation accusation, Beijing prosecutors said last week.
Reporting by Chris Buckley; Editing by Alex Richardson