The Red Cross Society of China (RCSC) has been forced to admit it broke the rules after reports it has been renting out a disaster relief warehouse to a commercial tenant, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.
RCSC vice president Zhao Baige said the move violated regulations but defended the intent behind it “to feed so many employees”.
The story was first reported by Tencent which subsequently deleted it from its website under pressure from unnamed parties, according to Apple Daily.
In 2012, RCSC signed a two-year lease on the warehouse with a Beijing-based private company for 900,000 yuan (US$146,341) a year, the report said.
The company sublet the premises to logistics operators including DHL for 4.5 million yuan a year, the report said.
The warehouse, built for 117 million yuan of government money, was opened in 2010.
It has been used as a logistics center and no relief goods have been stored there, a local villager was quoted as saying.
This month, authorities reopened an investigation into a woman who boasted about her lavish lifestyle while claiming to be a manager in RCSC.
Guo Meimei later said she lied about her RCSC connection and apologized. She is suspected of running an illegal gambling racket and a high-class prostitution ring.
The latest flap comes as President Xi Jinping is reported to be the next RCSC honorary chairman, taking over from former president Hu Jintao.
But Xi is reluctant to take the role in light of recent events, according to Apple Daily.
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