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The criminal detention of four police officers and three others involved in the recent case of a woman counterfeiting multiple identities to buy luxury real estate should not be the end of the authorities' handling of the scandal. Instead, it should be the start of a thorough probe into possible similar malpractices across the country and loopholes in its household registration system.
The Ministry of Public Security confirmed that the seven people detained had roles in the scandal in which Gong Aiai, a former deputy chief of a rural commercial bank in northwestern Shaanxi province, possessed 41 properties in Beijing alone under four hukou, or household registrations. The value of the real estate is estimated at 1 billion yuan ($160 million).
The four police officers are suspected of facilitating Gong's acquisition of different identities under fake information certificates in violation of household registration management regulations.