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Former official under custody for owning 29 houses

(Xinhua)

10:25, January 07, 2013

ZHENGZHOU, Jan. 6 (Xinhua) -- A former housing administration official in central China's Henan Province who was found to have 29 houses is in criminal detention for corruption, local authorities said Sunday.

A whistle-blower on Dec. 26 accused on his microblog account that Zhai Zhenfeng, the former director of the housing administration bureau in Erqi district of Zhengzhou city, engaged in practices for his own personal gain.

The microblog also said his daughter owns 11 affordable houses and two residence permits.

A preliminary investigation by the district government confirmed that Zhai's family owns 29 houses, and the local public security department found that both Zhai and his immediate family including his wife, son and daughter have two residence permits each.

Their illegal residence permits in Xiangcheng City, Henan Province have been nullified, according to the local public security department of Xiangcheng.

The procuratorate of Zhengzhou decided on Friday that Zhai had broken the law and that the case should be placed on file for investigation.

In September 2011, Zhai was removed from his post by the local discipline inspection watchdog of Erqi district for a set of disciplinary offences, including seeking profits for his family.

Zhai's case resembles that of Cai Bin, an urban management official in southern Guangdong Province, who was dismissed from his post in October after online postings said he owned 22 houses.

Zhai and Cai are among a number of Chinese officials who have been targeted by the country's netizens and later investigated by disciplinary watchdogs.

Other officials include one who was found having at least 11 expensive wristwatches and another whose sex video with a woman was leaked to the Internet.

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