China / Politics

Wukan village deputy chief held over alleged bribery

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-03-19 17:04

GUANGZHOU - A deputy chief of Wukan Village in south China's Guangdong Province has been detained for alleged bribery, local authorities said Wednesday.

Wukan village deputy chief held over alleged bribery
Special: China cracks down on graft 
Hong Ruichao, deputy chief of the village committee, was arrested and put under criminal investigation on Tuesday afternoon on suspicion of taking bribes in public projects in the village, the information office of Lufeng City, which administers the village, said in a statement.

Last Thursday, another deputy village chief, Yang Semao, was also detained for alleged bribery. But Yang was bailed out Friday to help organize the upcoming election of the village's new leadership.

Yang is part of the 11-member election committee responsible for helping organize the election scheduled for March 31 and April 1.

Wukan grabbed international headlines in 2011 when the village's residents staged three rounds of large-scale rallies over four months to protest village officials' alleged illegal land grabs, corruption and violations of financing and election rules. Order was restored in December of the same year after a senior provincial official held direct talks with villagers.

A new village committee was elected in March 2012. Later in April, several former village officials were expelled from the Communist Party of China over corruption and election-rigging charges.

Over the past two years, more than 5,000 mu (330 hectares) of land determined to have been illegally transferred, allotted, or left idle has been returned to the village. Governments at the provincial and city levels also earmarked tens of millions of yuan for improving villagers' livelihood.

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