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Developers held over demolitions
( 2003-10-31 07:14) (China Daily)

Beijing police have for the first time detained property developers for allegedly demolishing houses illegally.

Protesters hold various placards condemning the housing developer, on a street beside China World Trade Centre in Beijing on June 11. There have been sporadic protests across the country, urging stronger legal supervision on demolition and relocation issues. [newsphoto.com.cn/file]

The Beijing Public Security Bureau announced on Wednesday they had suspects in custody over two cases of resettlement disputes involving violence.

Real estate developers in both cases are suspected of using brute force to demolish old houses after residents refused to move due to disputes over resettlement compensation.

Liu Shaowu, vice-director of the bureau, said it was the first time property developers had been held on such charges.

According to police sources on September 19, several people staged a night raid on a residence in Haidian District and tied up the homeowners -- a couple and their son. They then demolished the house, burying the family's possessions in the ruins.

Police allege that Meng Yi, manager of a resettlement department for a property company, and Yang Zhengming, project manager of a construction company, organized the illegal demolition.

Zhang Weimin, manager of the engineering department of the real estate company, and an engineer Qin Mingxiang, are also suspected of involvement.

Meng, Zhang and Qin have been arrested with the approval of the Haidian Procuratorate, while Yang is still at large, according to a public security bureau spokesman.

The spokesman also released details of another case in which 13 homes were illegally destroyed and six residents injured in the early hours of September 21 in Fengtai District.

The police claim a property developer Wang Lina and her employee Li Yujun paid Cao Yuanlin, a native of Central China's Henan Province, 200,000 yuan (US$24,000) to lead a dozen people in the illegal demolition.

Wang and Li have been detained by the police, while Cao is still on the run, said the spokesman.

Liu, vice-director of the public security bureau, said the conflicts rising from the relocation of residents were serious and complicated. He said his bureau would do more to guarantee the interests and security of households relocated due to building work.

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