Date
24 August 2017
Wang Chuncheng (left) was held in April in connection with a corruption investigation into former PLA chief Xu Caihou, his alleged benefactor. Photo: Peoples.com
Wang Chuncheng (left) was held in April in connection with a corruption investigation into former PLA chief Xu Caihou, his alleged benefactor. Photo: Peoples.com

Close Xu ally faces graft investigation

A powerful businessman was arrested in April as part of a corruption investigation into disgraced former People’s Liberation Army chief Xu Caihou, Caijing magazine reported Monday.

Wang Chuncheng, a close Xu ally, was held by military prosecutors at the airport on his return from a trip to Japan. He faces graft allegations.

The arrest came about a month after Xu was placed under investigation for alleged corruption.

Wang, 51, is chairman of Liaoning-based Chuncheng Industry and Trade Group. He had become a close confidant of Xu after his son was involved in a street fight in which a local resident was killed.

Xu helped him with his son’s case after the two were introduced but Wang kept a low profile about the relationship, the report said.

Wang had close business ties with Xu’s wife and had offered the family property in Hainan as a gift, the report said.

Wang’s arrest is linked to Xu’s case, according to an anonymous source close to the the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Wang started his company as a mining venture in Liaoning after getting laid off from a job in the early 1990s.

He set up a street-side coal sales business catering to passing motorists. He bagged his first major customer when a power plant in Jinzhou city signed a supply contract.

In 2003, Wang expanded the business to Inner Mongolia by acquiring two open-pit coal mines there.

He also became involved in the construction of a rail line across northeast China and eastern Mongolia, eventually linking with Russia.

Wang was a major investor in the early stage of the project, estimated at 5.9 billion yuan (US$953.49 million) in the first phase alone, according to media reports.

In 2008, Wang was a delegate to the National People’s Congress but resigned over suspected “serious violations of discipline and law”.

His resignation was accepted by the Liaoning Provincial People’s Congress on April 10.

– Contact us at english@hkej.com

JZ/MY/RA

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