China sacks top economic crimes official -Xinhua

BEIJING, June 9 (Reuters) - The senior Chinese official in charge of economic crimes has been removed from his post, the Xinhua news agency said on Tuesday, over five months after he was detained in connection with a stock manipulation case.

The news comes as speculation mounts that more officials in southern China have come under investigation in connection with alleged stock manipulation by Huang Guangyu, founder of Chinese home appliance retailer GOME 0493.HK.

A widening investigation implies that the case has taken on a political dimension, rather than being limited to stock movements of two relatively small listed companies. At least five officials have so far been detained in the case.

Zheng Shaodong, the assistant minister of public security, was detained in January at the beginning of the investigation of Huang and his family.

Zheng’s removal from his post was confirmed by sources in the discipline organ of the Communist Party, Xinhua said on Tuesday. It did not specify any reason.

The mayor of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong, was detained this weekend, also apparently in connection with the same case. (Reporting by Lucy Hornby)