CHONGQING: Seven senior officials from the local government and law enforcement agencies in Chongqing suspected of ties to organized crime are the subject of a growing investigation targeting criminal gangs.
Among the high-profile officials caught up in the crackdown, Chen Honggang, chief of the city's traffic police section, has been put under shuanggui, which is the name given to a procedure in which a Communist Party of China (CPC) member is asked to confess to wrongdoings before a CPC committee's discipline inspection commission.
Chen is suspected of involvement with criminal gangs.
"It is like an earthquake, dealing a blow to corrupt elements in law enforcement bodies and other government agencies," said a veteran local news reporter with Chongqing Morning News identified as Jiang.
Chen's fall followed last Friday's shuanggui of the former deputy director of the city's public security bureau, Peng Changjian, who is suspected of protecting gangs and receiving bribes amounting to 3 million yuan ($439,000).
Peng's shuanggui followed the detention in July of Wen Qiang, who had served as director of the city's public security bureau for 10 years.
He is also thought to have protected criminal gangs.
Chinese Business View reported that, by Friday, 30 senior police officers and 200 ordinary police officers had been investigated for alleged involvement with gangs.
Among the judiciary sector, deputy chief justice of the Chongqing higher people's court, Zhang Tao, had been investigated for "seriously violating codes" and Mao Jiaping, deputy chief prosecutor for the Chongqing municipal procuratorate, was put under shuanggui on Sept 4.
The "earthquake" has rippled out to other local departments. On Thursday, it was announced that Jiang Yong, from the city's urban planning bureau, had been sentenced to death, with a two-year reprieve, for bribery.
Another senior official from the bureau, Cha Hong, and the head of Jiulongpo district, Huang Yun, were both removed from their posts after deputy head of Beibei district, Zhao Wenrui, was placed under shuanggui last week.
Sichuan Online contributed to the story