CHINA> Regional
Shijiazhuang mayor sacked over tainted milk scandal
Updated: 2008-09-18 14:03

SHIJIAZHUANG -- The mayor of Shijiazhuang, capital of north China's Hebei Province, was sacked here on Thursday over a tainted milk powder scandal.

The dismissal of Ji Chuntang was made at the local legislature, one day after Ji was removed from his post as vice secretary of the Shijiazhuang Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The dairy giant Sanlu Group, based in Shijiazhuang, was the first company exposed in the scandal. More than 6,200 infants across the country had developed kidney stones after drinking Sanlu's tainted baby formula, including three who have died.

Four officials in Shijiazhuang had been fired before Ji Chuntang. They included vice mayor in charge of agricultural production, head of animal husbandry and fishery bureau, director of food and drug administration and head of quality supervision bureau.

Hebei police have so far arrested 18 suspects connected to the baby milk powder scandal. Six of them allegedly sold the industrial chemical melamine to milk dealers, while the other 12 were milk dealers who added the chemical to milk and sold the tainted milk to dairy companies.