In Guangzhou, a top police officer in the southern province of Guangdong has been suspended following allegations that he received money from more than 1,000 guests invited to a party to celebrate his new villa.
The disciplinary supervision authority in western Guangdong yesterday announced the suspension of Chen Xizhao, deputy director of the public security bureau of Lianjiang county, after an initial probe into the allegations that began on Saturday.
Chen organized a banquet for more than 1,000 people, including colleagues and owners of entertainment venues, to celebrate the purchase of his five-story villa in a plush urban locality.
Chen allegedly arranged empty red envelopes, known as hongbao in Chinese, for invitees to leave money, the Guangzhou-based Southern Rural News reported.
Chen's villa covers an area of about 200 sq m, the report said. Chen treated the guests to Martell Cordon Bleu cognac wine, which costs 3,000 yuan ($483) a bottle, it added.
A team consisting of public security and disciplinary supervising officials has been set up to conduct the probe, a notice on the government website said yesterday.
"We are also investigating Chen's involvement in a stone mining project," a member of the investigating team told China Daily.
According to a Guangdong TV report, Chen started co-managing a stone mine in 2004. The mine reportedly yields 1 million yuan a month in revenue.
"As a top official of the local police authority, Chen had the right to approve the use of explosives for stone mining.
"He served as a protective umbrella for the stone mine," an unnamed police officer told the TV station.
"Public servants should not be engaged in businesses like stone mining," the officer added.
Villagers complained that some houses situated near the stone mine had developed cracks and a lot of farmland had been destroyed since the mining operations began.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.